Group photo of participants
By Landing Ceesay
The Media Academy for Journalism and Communication (MAJaC) organized a day-long workshop on irregular migration on Thursday, September 28, 2023, with journalists from various media outlets.
The workshop was part of MAJaC’s pilot project, which was launched on July 19, 2023, and is scheduled to run from July to September. The primary objective of this project is to combat irregular migration by providing comprehensive training in media-related fields to enhance participants’ skills.
Following the workshop, Mr. Mustapha Ceesay, the Project Coordinator, spoke with the media and explained that the meeting aimed to gain firsthand insights from journalists regarding the challenges they encounter when reporting on migration and related matters. Mr. Ceesay said the information gathered would be featured in their upcoming projects that would focus on combating irregular migration in the country.
“So that they can be equipped to report on irregular migration and raise awareness to the public for them to desist from going to the back way. This is not the first time we have engaged the media. This is the second time we are engaging the media. Today’s engagement is successful. Because we have successfully delivered all the objectives we set up at the beginning of the session,” Mr. Ceesay said.
Mr. Ceesay noted that media professionals have highlighted numerous challenges when it comes to reporting on migration, including capacity gaps, particularly in understanding the subject matter.
“Most of the time when you hear people reporting on migration, it’s irregular migration or deportation, and this is not the only context of irregular migration that people can report on. But reintegration is something that journalists can report on. The people that are deported, what do they need in other to be part of the society? We have also heard about the mobility challenges that is an ethical issue. We have also heard Journalists talking about business interests, which sometimes bar journalists from pursuing certain stories about migration. So these are factors that are affecting journalists,” he said.
The three-month project’s primary objective is to gather firsthand insights and recommendations from media organizations or associations regarding combating irregular migration through training at the academy.
Additionally, the project involved youth-led NGOs with the goal of creating a more extensive initiative, which, if approved, would span a three-year period.
The overarching vision of the project is to foster increased involvement of young people and citizens in initiatives focused on driving change, innovation, and entrepreneurship.
MAJaC aims to explore innovative training programs as potential solutions to address the root causes of irregular migration, such as unemployment, poverty, and a sense of hopelessness about the future, while also encouraging citizen engagement.