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Migration Awareness Programme – Informing the media about migration

As one of the sections of the People in Need foundation, the Migration Awareness Programme has been working on issues of migration and foreigners living in the Czech Republic since 2002.

© Standa Soukup

The programme’s main goal is to provide the public with objective information regarding migration in the Czech Republic through the media and other resources. It also seeks to break down common stereotypes about foreigners, with the goal to improve relations between immigrants in the Czech Republic and the rest of Czech society.

The Migration Awareness Programme works with journalists to increase the scope and improve the quality of reporting on migration and foreigners in local media outlets. We thus seek to improve the public’s and public officials’ awareness of the issue and the problems that foreigners in the Czech Republic face in their everyday lives, and which often hamper their integration into Czech society.

We also work directly with foreigners in order to support and encourage them to communicate with and participate in the media themselves, and hence communicate their perspective and stories to the public. The goal is to make the Czech public better acquainted with the migrants living alongside them, but also to empower the migrants to contribute to the creation of an image of migration in the media, which is otherwise often distorted by misinformation and the profit-oriented media environment.

The coordinators of the Migration Awareness Programme are constantly looking for new ways to working together with both media professionals, foreigners living in this country, and the wider Czech public in order to improve the perception of migrants and improve their position in the Czech Republic.

Some of the regular activities that we are involved in are:

  • Migration newsletters sent to journalists on a bi-weekly basis with un-published information based on our own research
  • Publishing special insert sections on themes related to migration in major Czech newspapers.
  • Migrants’ Forum – Informal discussions and get-togethers for foreigners, journalists and friends
  • Migrants’ Forum’s media training courses for foreigners – blogging, radio, print media, newswires
  • Organizing training sessions for journalists about the image of migrants in the media, stereotypes, etc.
  • Running and editing the Migrants’ Forum blog (in Czech) – a communal blog for foreigners writing about migration
  • Keeping in close contact with other European NGOs that deal with the same issues in other countries
  • Participating in dialogue with state insitutions, primarily in conjunction with the Czech Consortium of Migrants assisting Organisations