Dr Daniel Nkrumah, A Journalism Lecturer at the Pentecost University has called on the media to help curb irregular migration by giving it more focus.
He said although irregular migration was a threatening disaster, stories on them got “buried” in foreign news segments, and that there was the pressing need for media managers and editors to reconsider policies, highlight the topic, and give related stories prominence on news programmes.
Dr Nkrumah said this at a two-day training workshop for selected media practitioners from the southern belt of the country on irregular migration at Larteh in the Okere District of the Eastern Region.
He said rough migration remained a high risk undertaking that endangered lives and robbed developing countries of their human resource, and would require strong media advocacy to reverse the trend.
“Foreign news segments don’t get as much patronage as local bulletins. We need to look at making the stories so that we can strengthen the advocacy role of the media towards stemming the tide of irregular migration among young people in particular”, Dr Nkrumah stated.
He said female migrants were more disposed to to exploitation including; enslavement and forced marriages on such voyages,and the media must highlight their plight to deter others.
Dr Nkrumah added that Government must do more to “save the young ones from perishing”, through media empowerment, and must also strengthen agencies and departments tasked with dealing with migration.
The workshop was facilitated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) within its three-year project to empower young Africans through media and communication, with support from the Italian Agency for Development Corporation.
The project will develop media capacities, and enhance professional and ethical journalism to produce well informed works that would drive positive actions to help guarantee the rights of migrants towards an end to the stereotyping and abuse they suffer.
The Italian Agency is backed by Fondo Africa, a fund set up in 2016 by the Government of Italy to foster corporation between Italy and African countries rife with migration flows, especially Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, Cote d’lvoire, Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, Guinea Conakry, Eritrea, Sudan, and Somalia.
The key objective of the fund is to fight irregular immigration and human trafficking through awareness creation, and sensitisation campaigns on the associated risks of migration, among other efforts.
UNESCO is working with the media, civil society groups and other partners to help secure the rights of migrants, which is attached to its mission to promote peace and development.
The Organisation believes that independent media’s role was key in creating awareness on migration, and in helping to ensure youth and women were empowered to make mindful choices of livelihoods.
Participating in the workshop, was a mix of news reporters, editors, social media bloggers, producers, and media managers drawn from some media associations including; the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) and the Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA).