Inspiration and Education for Ethical Reporting

By Frankie Reid

For four days in early spring 2021, a group of young journalists and media professionals from Poland and Germany met in Berlin. The individuals were predominantly from a journalism background, either working professionally already or still in training, while others worked in communications or had ambitions to progress into media work. The group gathered to attend a training workshop on the ethical reporting of migration and diversity. Many of the young journalists reported that they were motivated to join the activity because they had some experience in reporting on migration and wanted to improve their skills, or they wanted to break into this field and saw the training as a first step.

The event was co-organised within the I Am European (IAE) project by Migration Matters (MM), based in Germany, and the Center for Citizenship Education (CCE), based in Poland. Co-organising the activity provided a unique educational opportunity as it meant that the organisations could include an opportunity for cross-cultural exchange and networking for the participants. Within the programme, the expert speakers shared their experiences and insights in workshops and presentations. The programme included workshops on shaping narratives through journalism, countering hate speech in the media, and diversity and representation in the industry. For example, in one session, the young journalists had the opportunity to pitch stories and receive feedback from an expert in migration reporting. They were also able to speak to migrant journalists about their experiences in the German media industry. The young journalists actively participated in each session and seemed to be engaged with the content and speakers. This activity received largely positive feedback from the participants who stated that they had gained a new understanding of the challenges of reporting on migration and had acquired new skills to take back into their work in this field and beyond. However, some commented that more emphasis could have been placed on introducing the specific context of the German media at the start of the training to set the scene. Some also mentioned that the exchange of ideas amongst participants would have been more valuable had there been more participants from Germany.

The training was an excellent opportunity to share the aims of the IAE project with multipliers who then took action to spread the word. Several of the participants joined other IAE activities about migration. They showed interest in the project and its aims and as such, shared information about IAE activities with friends and on social media. Many of the young journalists committed themselves to nurture their new connections with peers and collaborating on future journalistic endeavours. The training event for young journalists was a collaboration between two IAE partners in Germany and Poland which enabled exchange and learning between young people in those countries. The topic of the training – ethical journalism on migration and diversity – is a crucial focus of the IAE project, while the element of cross-cultural exchange combined to make unique learning and networking opportunities for young professionals.