Third PMP: Media and Migration

The third installment of the Prague Media Point conference  took place between November 7 and November 9, 2016 in Prague. This year´s topic is Media and Migration. Over 100 distinguished guests shared their thoughts on the important and responsible role of the media towards the topic of migration. Take a look at our photogallery and stay tuned for more outcomes. 

In an era dominated by social media, it is difficult to identify the true nature of information. The challenge becomes more evident as commercial media dominates the headlines with what could be called “infotainment”. The delegates agreed that one way to combat this phenomenon is by a more careful choice of words. We must stem away from using terms like “flood”, “wave”, and “swarm” in order to preserve their humanity.

Miyase Christensen stated that there has been a massive shift in the last two years in how the media represents the migrants that are making the perilous journey to Europe. According to a recent UNHCR study, there is wide variation regarding the way each nation frames the migration crisis or portrays migrants. Those who delivered a fairly positive frame include Italy, Spain, and Sweden, while the United Kingdom demonstrated a polarized attitude, which was evident their coverage of events.

Refugees in digital Europe are nameless and ageless, says Myria Georgiou. They are spoken of, but rarely do refugees themselves have the opportunity to take charge and speak about their personal experiences. Platforms for personal expressions of the migrants are however being established. The International Organization for Migration and the more controversial has established new platforms where migrants and refugees have the ability tell their stories. They are able to take control and voice their opinions.

Are these platforms beneficial or do they do more harm than good? These platforms “Orientalize” migrants and refugees. They are made to seem like the “other” and cement the beliefs and stereotypes that Europeans have about them. According to our speakers, institutional platforms do more damage than good and perhaps less celebrated platforms where migrants and refugees are anything but a spectacle need to be the way to go.

A total of 106 participants from 31 countries joined the debate. The Prague Media Point conference aims to bring together a number of academics, business professionals and journalists from various backgrounds to discuss topics pertaining to the most pungent issues the media of today are facing.