Consultative session on the development of media guidelines on migration reporting in Pakistan

The International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) and the Ethical Journalism Network (EJN) held two online consultative sessions on migration reporting in Pakistan in the first week of November 2020. The sessions are part of an ICMPD project initiative “Raising awareness on migration in Pakistan” (MARIP II), funded by the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Sixteen senior editors and reporters discussed migration reporting and inter-related issues in Pakistan, such as environmental, gender and human rights issues. The overall objective was to discuss the status of migration reporting in Pakistan, jointly identify strengths, gaps and challenges and agreeing on areas where ICMPD and EJN could support the media to expand migration reporting in the country.

The discussions outlined the complexity of migration reporting and the need for more human-driven and in-depth stories so that the Pakistani public gain a better understanding of interrelated social issues. All participants agreed that migration is an important topic that the Pakistani public should be aware of. As such, it was agreed that resource constraints faced by correspondents and reporters need to be addressed and their capacity strengthened. Stories need to show the linkages with issues such as education, gender, political stability, economy and external relations. Internal migration is hardly covered today and the effects of migration on communities needs to be highlighted.

All stakeholders agreed that specific guidelines for migration reporting in Pakistan are needed and asked for the development of an additional toolkit to address the specific challenges and context in Pakistan. In combination with sensitisation sessions in main media houses, this will contribute to increased capacity and knowledge to report on migration issues in the media. In turn, this should lead to a better-informed Pakistani public.