This Policy Insight debate is part of Friends of Europe’s Migration Action programme, which aims to examine the imperative of migration in the context of economic sustainability and demographics, as well as its impact on public services, communities and security. Speakers and participants at this debate will exchange perspectives on what it might take to shift the narrative on migration and integration, as well as how to cope with ‘fake news’ in an ever-more connected world.
This event is also a part of a global debate on disinformation initiated by Friends of Europe ahead of the European elections. During the coming month, disinformation and its implications for democracy are being discussed at events held in Brussels and Buenos Aires, online with our prominent community of security experts on Debating Security Plus and with the 4.5 million citizens engaging on Debating Europe.
- Friends of Europe event report “It’s broke, let’s fix it: rethinking migration management”
- Friends of Europe discussion paper “Real people, true stories: refugees for more inclusive societies”
- “Increased anti-Semitism and xenophobia is a symptom of a weakening European value system, we must repair it” by Elzbieta Bienkowska
- “The fight for liberal democracy can only be won on the offensive” by Janos Amman
IMAGE CREDIT: Pexels/Terje Sollie
Migration is a global phenomenon which needs to be tackled on the international level but also by national governments, local authorities and an empowered civil society. In Europe, while the focus tends to be on migration and the political tensions it continues to provoke, governments are also responding to the longer term challenge of integrating migrants and refugees in order to build more inclusive and resilient societies.
Welcome and registration of participants
Migration, fake news and media ethics
Fears of foreign meddling in elections to the European Parliament have put the focus more than ever before on the powerful role of the media in influencing public opinion and shaping the political choices made by voters. But citizen journalism, the 24-hour news cycle and ‘fake news’ are disrupting the traditional media landscape, causing confusion within the sector and among the public. During the so-called migration ‘crisis’, traditional and new media both failed to report on Europe’s migration phenomenon in an objective and ethical manner. Many have deliberately used sensationalist narratives and false information, thereby feeding nationalist and populist sentiments. Hopes that the United Nations Global Compact for Migration would bring some much-needed sanity into the conversation were dashed when journalists were not consulted, driving away even the most responsible reporters. Given the high stakes, demands are increasing for journalists to move away from sensationalism, distinguish between fact and fiction, and report more accurately on Europe’s migration challenges.
• Do journalists believe they have a responsibility to craft a less hostile and more constructive and respectful narrative on migration and integration?
• Since ‘fake news’ is here to stay, is it time to develop coping strategies for living with it?
• Has the media learned anything from the mistakes made while covering so-called ‘migration crises’?
Susan Dabbous, Freelance Journalist and Author of How would you like to die? Diary of a kidnapping in Syria
Tom Law, Director of Campaigns and Communications at Ethical Journalism Network
Matthias Oel, Director for Migration, Mobility and Innovation at the European Commission Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs
Inma Vazquez, Médecins Sans Frontières’ (MSF) Representative to the EU and NATO
Shada Islam, Director of Europe & Geopolitics at Friends of Europe
End of debate
Registration for this event is now closed
Amanda Rohde, Programme Manager
Tel.: +32 2 893 98 11
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