Fair & humane media reporting on migration

Fair & humane media reporting on migration

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We're supporting People & Planet's campaign to end the negative portrayal of migrants in the press.

The most common word associated with migrants in the British press is ‘illegal’ which is negatively impacting the public attitude.

Studies have shown that the newspaper's hostile portrayal of asylum seekers and refugees is not only raising feelings of fear amongst the British public toward migrants but also supports a culture of tough government policy and persecution.

This was further explored recently at our Brave Conference by Syrian refugee and BAFTA award winner, Hassan Akkad who was met with hostility upon his arrival in Europe.

So, People and Planet have created the campaign 'Undoing Borders' to promote an ethical change in media practice by 'challenging discriminatory and badly evidenced portrayals and entrenched practices in specific print press companies'.

Its aims are simple:

  1. Producing a Charter of Ethical Reporting - Consult with journalists, migrants and NGO's to produce a charter setting out standards and best practice in reporting. Lobby for agreement and support
  2. Five of the Daily Express's biggest advertisers to pull out until they agree to improve damaging practices - Mobilise and support members of the public to hold regular creative actions targeting key advertisers in the Daily Express
  3. Develop a media ‘fact-checker’ - Train and operationalise an independent group checking both for factual inaccuracies, but also for instances of negative associations and bias
  4. Train a diverse new group of media activists, both migrants and students, to produce media content - Hold annual regional and national training events that include in-depth skills training on media relations/PR and investigative journalism.

The impact

This campaign pushes for 'fair treatment of migrants by addressing one of the root causes of the problems - shifting the core media narratives.'

As a result, it will be more difficult for media outlets to promote negative, divisive and defamatory representation of migrants and therefore we could begin to see a positive shift in the public attitude and the culture on this topic.

This will also directly benefit UK University students who will be provided with the opportunity to build on their journalistic skills and improve on best practice. 

Get involved

If you'd like to reduce the vicious cycle caused by the damaging media portrayal of migrants, then please donate Planet & People's 'Fair & humane media reporting on migration' project by December 5th.

They're aiming to raise £10,000 and all donations will be doubled by the crowdfunding website Big Give.

Our very own UK Board Member, Michele Oliver, VP Marketing at Mars, is personally supporting this campaign and commented, 'this is something I care deeply about. Help us create fairer, more humane reporting on migration in the media.’

People & Planet

People & Planet campaigns to end world poverty, defend human rights and protect the environment. They have the largest student network in Britain and their award winning campaigns have changed minds, lifestyles, government policy, and multi-billion pound corporates. People & Planet exists to educate, inspire and support young people as agents for change in social and political life. 

Its campaigns have had a massive global impact:

  • They've helped 8,000 more people in Thailand get AIDS and HIV treatment
  • Their award winning Green League this year has seen 71% of universities cut their carbon emissions
  • More than 120 universities have official Fairtrade status.

'The network themselves voted to make this campaign one of our three organisational priorities back in 2016. The makeup of our groups will reflect the communities most affected by the debate.'


By Orianna Rosa Royle, Digital Assistant at The Marketing Society

Author: The Marketing Society
Posted: 29 Nov 2017
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