Young Libyan Media Professionals Trained by UN Migration Agency to Encourage Informed Reporting
Tunis – IOM, the UN Migration Agency is, holding a three-day (7–9 August) media training for 19 young Libyan media professionals.
The training, which is being held in Tunisia’s capital, Tunis, is part of the IOM Regional Development and Protection Project (RDPP) for North Africa, Development Pillar, funded by the European Union. It covers sessions on Media and Migration Public Opinion, the Power of an Image, Recommendations and Good Practices, as well as Migration Terminology and the Global and Local Context of Migration. Facilitators include Christos Christodoulides, Project Manager, IOM Nouakchott, and Paola Pace, RDPP Senior Project Manager, IOM Tunisia.
Joel Millman, IOM Spokesperson and Senior Press Officer, welcomed the participants. He congratulated them for having been successfully selected amongst over 150 young media professionals who had applied.
"We know why we are attracted to migration coverage," Millman explained. "It's exciting and it's dramatic. It's about stories of some of the world's most interesting people: pioneers striving to change their lives to make a better future for their families."
During a busy question-and-answer session following the welcome speech, Ali Jibreel Salih, a veteran Libyan journalist, made an emotional appeal to a new generation of migration reporters.
"They must go out and meet the migrants and tell their stories," Salih explained. "Thirty years ago, I shot a video of African migrants crossing the desert, some of them were dying. Today the tragedy continues but it's more organized, more systematic."
Salih, now a Media Advisor to Libya's Government of National Accord, served on the IOM panel which selected the training participants. The panel also included Khaled Gulam, Director of the Media lab of Tripoli University, as well as a representative from IOM.
Media reporting of migration is often complicated by stereotypes and misinformation, which fosters prejudices and misconceptions of migrants. The aim of the training is to contribute to a more informed migration discourse in Libya.
The agenda also includes sessions on Libyan media coverage of migration, as well as sessions on human smuggling by Zakariya El Zaidy, migration expert on Libya, and investigative journalist and researcher, Mark Micallef.
“I am already in the human rights field but would like to receive more information on how to cover migration from a humanitarian perspective,” explained 26-year-old Fatma Al Omrani, one of the participants from the Libyan coastal city of Zuwara. “I would also like to receive more information on international terminology of migration and statistics in order to be able to better analyse migration trends in Libya.”