#National News

IOM concludes virtual media training on Migration Reporting

Jun 8, 2020, 11:56 AM | Article By: Fatou Bojang & Arfang M.S Camara

The International Organisation For Migration (IOM) on Friday concluded three days online training for 30 journalists from different media houses in the country aimed to enhance journalists’ skills and knowledge on migration reporting.

The organisation provided journalists with the necessary kits to be able to participate effectively in the training during which comprehensive presentations were made on various topics relating to migration issues both nationally and internationally.

Miko Alazas, IOM’s communication officer, said they have been conducting the training since 2018 and have reached over a hundred journalists over the past two years. "This training aims to improve the skills and knowledge of journalists to be able to report about migration issues more accurately," he said.

He added that migration is a very important phenomenon in The Gambia, saying it is a cross cutting issue that impacted many lives over the past few years.

“It can also be a very controversial issue and a potentially politicised issue around the world. So it is important that migration is discussed accurately and we are reporting on the facts without sensationalising the issue.’’

According to Mr Alazas, IOM in The Gambia is helping to reduce irregular migration by supporting voluntary return of stranded migrants over the past three years.  “We have supported over 5000 stranded Gambian migrants to return home and we have assisted in their reintegration back in the country,” he said.

Adam Drammeh, a participant from Sunurew Online Newspaper, said the training was so far the most crucial training she had ever had, adding that it boosted her knowledge on migration reporting.

During the training, it was disclosed that migration reporting is the least reported news in the news rooms, saying she will take it upon herself from now onwards to research and report stories relating to migration in The Gambia. “There are lots of migration related issues that we can report on aside from the irregular migration locally called the back way.”

Sankulleh Janko, also a participant from West Africa Democracy Radio (WADR) said the training was more than necessary and very timely.  "I was amazed by the new facts I gathered during the training most especially about the impacts of covid-19 on the remittances send by Gambian migrants," he stated.

He applauded IOM for coming up with the initiative, saying he has learnt some technical words and ethics in migration reporting which will equip him well in his migration story telling.

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