Saturday, July 29, 2006

RAMming the message home about asylum-seekers

Should journalists learn about cultural and religious diversity as part of their training? Should it be a prerequisite for entering the profession that journalists actually understand the people they write about?

This is one revolutionary idea referred to in an article by the Director of MediaWise, a registered charity set up to provide advice, information, research and training on media ethics. The suggestion is one of several in response to concerns on how some British newspapers have portrayed asylum seekers and refugees in prejudicial terms and falling back on racist sterotypes.

Until recently, MediaWise ran a project called RAM (Refugees, Asylum-seekers and Media) which encouraged good practice in media representation of refugee and asylum issues. This role has now been taken over by the Exiled Journalists Network which was set up last year to support journalists who have themselves fled their home countries to escape persecution.

Filed under:
journalism education    MediaWise    asylum seekers

1 comment:

Dubber said...

Not wishing to draw importance away from the subject of your post, but the RAM acronym set me to thinking about computer-related matters.

I think some compulsory IT and new media training might be in order as well. The amount of ignorance that many journalists display about anything to do with digital media, internet technology and the like is appalling.

Using 'the web' as a synonym for the internet is just the tip of the iceberg, but it's a pet peeve. Worse is the coverage of 'illegal' websites like - which aren't actually illegal at all, but the corporate entertainment industry would like to declare it as such.

They have the weight of the American Government on their side. They stand a good chance of threatening Russia with exclusion from the WTO unless allofmp3 is shut down, and they have the vast majority of the British press declaring it illegal before they've even got themselves a court date.

Also, nobody has ever been arrested for downloading music. Only uploading.

Cynical PR from the major labels, coupled with lazy journalism and the ease of the cut-and-paste 'entertainment' puff piece are completely distorting public perception of the single most pervasive medium on the planet: the popular song.