By; RAYMOND TEDUNJAYE, Lagos
Media practitioners in Nigeria have been charged to focus more on the reportage of issues of migration, with the view to halt the trend.
With more indept analysis on the trend, it is believed that prospective migrants from the African continent will be discouraged based on the inherent danger in the traveling process.
These were the views of some renowned experts in media and migration education, submitted at a workshop for practising journalists and journalism educators in Lagos.
Participants at the workshop organised by the national secretariat of the Nigeria Union of Journalists in collaboration with African Media Initiative and Africa Positive, sponsored by Erich- Brost- Institut, Germany, were exposed to how the Africa media have under report the major critical issues afflicting the continent.
While delivering a paper on Media and Migration: Context Factor, a facilitator with Africa Media Initiative Eric Chinve remarked that the major problems bedeviling African countries are mostly not reported by African media.
According to him, major African issues were being reported to the world by news outlet such as Reuters, AFP, BBC and CNN, while the African media down play or not focus on them at all.
“Issues affecting us is the absence of the critical issues affecting us in the media. The deeper issues we should be cconcernws about is very minimal in our daily reportage. Reuters, AFP report Africa issues and not Africa itself “, the former editor of Cameroon TV maintained.
While speaking on challenges of African development, the resource person pointed out agriculture which is the main stay of African development is not given the required attention in terms of budget, adding that this should arouse the conscience of the media.
His words, ” Agriculture is the main stay of African development, it doesn’t get the required budget for growth, education is 10 percent of the annual budget in Nigeria, health is also not giving the right attention. The media should continue to do a lot of analysis on these so that it will get better “.
On the issue of migration, he lamented that a lot of migrants have died in the process, adding that only a very few of them usually succeed.
He challenged the media to be critical about this and ask questions on why people should continue to embark on such a suicidal journey in the name of greener pasture.
Chinve posited that the escapede of the migrants was an indication that government has failed to create the enabling for them to remain in the country.
” On the issue of migration, a lot of people are dying in the process of crossing to Europe, why don’t we ask why they are crossing? What does it tell about us as government? We are failing to create the condition where they can stay in the country.
Through migration, we can see the problem with our country, absolutely there is no need for the young people to cross the meditaranian if government does the right thing”, he stressed.
Speaking on Media and Migration: Best Practices and Journalistic Strategies, Dr. Michael Serwornoo said journalists should focus more on factors that can discourage migration in their report.
According to him, such report should be based on limitations hindering opportunity which include access to credit facility, legislative provision, tax problem.
” We have to change our perception in reporting our stories, change the negative perception and be patriotic, we should stop the stereotype approach to reportage”, Serwornoo a former BBC reporter charged.