Monday, 19 September 2011

Improving Media Coverage of Immigration Issues

Report of Caribbean Working Group on Coverage of Immigration Issues
Austin Forum – September 8-10, 2011

The Caribbean Group comprised: Wesley Gibbings, Association of Caribbean MediaWorkers Trinidad and Tobago (Moderator); Colette Les Pinasse, journalist, Haiti; Gotson Pierre, Alterpresse, Haiti, Maude Malengrez, FOKAL/OSF Haiti and Maria Soldevilla, Listin Diario, Republica Dominicana.

The subject of improving media coverage of immigration issues in the Caribbean was addressed by (i) identifying issues that required further journalistic investigation and (ii) proposing mechanisms to more efficiently achieve improved coverage.

Areas for Further Journalistic Investigation

  1. The incidence of re-migration;
  2. The processing, re-integration and treatment of criminal deportees;
  3. The role of the Caribbean Diaspora in influencing politics and economic life;
  4. Evolving means of moving money between borders in the form of financial remittances;
  5. Closer examination of the incidence of intra-regional migration;
  6. Work on assessing the impact of recent trends involving new groups of immigrants such as Asians and Africans into the Caribbean;
  7. The integrity of institutional support for immigrants including the provision of vital services;
  8. More diligent monitoring of immigration laws and their impact on emerging humanitarian concerns;
  9. Examination of the impact of outward migration on children;
  10. Avoidance of the use of stereotyping in the treatment of immigrants;
  11. Attention should be paid to the “feminisation” of the immigration phenomenon;
  12. The need to verify official immigration statistics;
  13. Recognition of the multi-dimensional nature of immigrant engagement in the life of host countries;
  14. The use of new technologies as immigrant communities communicate with their home countries and as their families and friends communicate with them;
  15. The incidence of transient groups that move continually from one country to the next;
  16. Language and cultural shifts as a consequence of immigration;
  17. The incidence of “paperless” immigrants;
  18. The economic impact of the splintering of families in the face of outward migrations;
  19. Coverage of new money flows as a result of immigration

Mechanisms for Improved Coverage
  1. Development of online platforms for the sharing of official immigration data within the region;
  2. Establishment of a multi-media/multi-lingual repository for news stories and information on regional immigration;
  3. The greater use of social networks that aid in the networking of Caribbean journalists for information sharing;
  4. A mechanism to facilitate greater cross-border collaboration on media productions;
  5. The use of journalistic exchanges among countries across the language groups in the Caribbean;
  6. Greater collaboration among NGOs/academia/community media and mainstream media in the coverage of immigration issues;
  7. Mechanisms for advocates to more efficiently influence media managers;
  8. Development of more comprehensive databases for accessing sources of opinion and information on immigration;
  9. Introduction of an annual Caribbean Forum to explore immigration and other relevant media issues;
  10. Mechanisms to promote journalistic training.

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