Teaching International Journalism, part 10 -- Migrations and the "Other"

Why a section on migrations? There are boundaries and borders in this world but these are all crossed. When you think about it, there is really no local, national, international journalism. With technology, the distinctions in terms of media coverage matter much less than they used to. You can use google translate. You can access media from around the world, on all platforms, professional and social, from all perspectives and sides of an issue or live development 24/7.

The above video, where some of these themes collide, is surreal on many levels. It also belongs in the ethics section of this lesson plan. The journalist who kicked the kid in the shins and tried to trip her, while filming, did even worse afterwards, outright kicking, tripping and stopping a man holding a child from advancing further. Initially, she apologized (this link also has video of the second trip), but then threatened to sue the man carrying the child as well as Facebook, and said the moment had ruined her life. Pity her.

The journalist also made it on a very interesting list of media ethics issues in 2015.

Here is a much more humane portrayal of the plight of some of the regufees. done by the UNHCR.

Language is everything in terms of perceptions. Several years ago, AP stopped using the phrase "illegal immigrants." Here's an interesting paper of the immigrant as "pollutant in media representations of immigration." These discussions are important as they are at the heart of how media portray "the other", and how consumers of media sometimes subsequently shape their worldview.

Studies of whether communities trust or distrust media are fascinating. This article says one such study with research in Japan concluded "....how diverse a community is, and political heterogeneity, or how varying the political attitudes of a community are, showed a strong connection to individual’s levels of media trust."

In the United States, a study recently indicated .... "a large majority of African-American and Hispanic news consumers don't fully trust the media to portray their communities accurately" . This article shows how more and more people are turning to so-called alternative media with growing distrust for so-called "mainstream media."

These types of studies should serve as a reminder to all journalists, whether working for mainstream media, alternative media, advocacy media, that their work is important, will be called out by social media herds if off base, but if done well, can continue to open lines of communication, offer enhanced transparency, highlight positive developments, warn of impending dangers and point out extremists and abusers.

Here's an interesting student opinion piece on embracing Muslims on campus.

If you enjoyed this lesson plan, here are all the chapters in My Guide to Teaching International Freelance Journalism.

Part 1, Geographies


Part 2, A Brief History Until Today


Part 3, Before You Go


Part 4, Potential Clients


Part 5, When You First Arrive


Part 6, Surviving the Game


Part 7, Books and Films To Educate and Inspire


Part 8, Perceptions


Part 9, Ethical Considerations


Part 10, Migrations and the Other


Part 11, Going Glocal


Part 12, Musings, Behind the Scenes and Critiques


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