In a packed room of +190 participants, the EESC President, Georges Dassis, declared: "Our continent has always needed people from abroad. Europe's reconstruction is greatly due to migrants' contributions. Over the past two years, media have played a big role in our perception of the migration flows. It is thus necessary to mention the benefits that migrants have brought to Europe. Our answer must also be the one of unity with the shaping of common policies on migration and asylum at EU level."
The EESC Civil Society Media Seminar, opening today, aims to dissect the windings and twists of media reporting on the migration flows that reached the European shores.
For many people, their understanding, their vision and ultimately their opinion on migration has been formed by one or more media and communications channels. Whether through TV, press, social media, official government channels or word of mouth, messages on this phenomenon have been delivered by journalists, politicians, officials, social media activists and even by members of the public - and sometimes not in a very accurate way.
The 24-25 November Seminar will look at how policy makers, journalists and communicators have delivered their messages on migration and the impact they have had. It will also expose the most effective tools and examples in telling the story of migration and integration, to assess what impact these experiences have had and how the person or channel delivering the message has influenced the outcome, if at all.
What can we learn from all this? will be a key objective of this seminar. Did we do it well? Could we do better? Do we need to change the narrative?
Watch out for the Seminar outcome.