WACC Europe has engaged in a series of projects to identify and promote strategies to counter media misrepresentation and online hate speech focused on refugees and migrants, supported by the Otto per Mille Fund of the Waldensian Church in Italy.
The initial project, a collaboration between WACC Europe and Churches’ Commission for Migrants in Europe (CCME), aimed at strengthening the rights of refugees to speak on their own behalf, to assess their portrayal in the media and uphold good journalistic practices, and to raise the visibility of refugee voices and networks. A media monitoring conducted in seven European countries by WACC Europe and the Churches’ Commission for Migrants in Europe revealed general patterns of invisibility and misrepresentation and highlighted the need for direct inclusion of the voices and opinions of refugees and migrants in stories about them. More information is available on the project website –Refugees Reporting – and the report published November 2017 is available below.
Two subsequent projects included:
“Communication Rights and Refugees in Europe: Breaking Down the Social Media Divides” explores attempts to address hate speech and cultural and political divisions online, particularly in relation to migrants and migration, and assess the approaches and tools that are most effective.
Changing the Narrative: Cross-regional media coverage of refugees and migrants provided a a networking and training programme for over 12 journalists from Africa, Europe, and Middle East, focused on developing in-depth reporting skills and contacts based on a communication rights approach.
A report of the initial project – “Changing the Narrative – Media representation of Refugees and Migrants in Europe” – was presented to the public on 16 November 2017 at the Brussels Press Club. Full details are available here.
The full report can be downloaded here: Changing the Narrative – Media Representation of Refugees and Migrants in Europe
An Executive Summary which includes highlights and recommendations is available in the following languages:
- English: Changing the Narrative – Executive Summary
- Español: Cambiando el Discurso: la Representación de los Refugiados y los Migrantes en los Medios de Comunicación Europeos
- Deutsch: Die Erzählung verändern: Mediendarstellung von Flüchtlingen, Migranten und Migrantinnen in Europa
- Français: Changer le Discours: la Représentation Médiatique des Réfugiés et des Migrants en Europe
- Arabic: Executive Summary and Recommendations_AR
The 2016-2017 project has been supported by the Otto per Mille fund (OPM) of the Waldensian Church in Italy, established by the Waldensian Church Synod in 1993 exclusively to support welfare, social and cultural projects. Additional financial support came from the Evangelical Church in the Rhineland, Germany, and the Churches’ Commission for Migrants in Europe. Further cooperation partners included the World Council of Churches and the Conference of European Churches.