Key achievements: FAIRWAY Labour Migration Journalism Fellowship Programme

The fellowship was implemented in partnership with the Ethical Journalism Network, training journalists to report on labour migration in a rights-based and ethical manner.

News | 30 November 2018
In 2017 the Regional Fair Migration Project in the Middle East (FAIRWAY) launched a labour migration journalism fellowship programme with the aim of training journalists to report on labour migration in a rights-based and ethical manner. The fellowship was implemented in partnership with the Ethical Journalism Network.

Research suggests that media are instrumental in shaping public perceptions about labour migration, which can in turn influence policy and practice. Often unwittingly, media can perpetuate negative stereotypes about labour migrants, increasing their vulnerability to discrimination and abuse. The fellowship programme was developed as a means of improving reporting on labour migration to ensure balanced and accurate perspectives that recognise the contributions of migrant workers.

Throughout the two phases of the fellowship (2017 and 2018), 20 journalists from across the Arab States region have produced reports which cover a wide range of topics, and have been published in leading regional and global publications, including Al Arabiya, Ashraq Al Wasat, Al Akhbar, Al Ghad, The Jordan Times, Middle East Eye, Reuters, BBC, The New York Times and Broadly (Vice News).

Stories have covered key topics including working conditions, recruitment, organizing and labour migration policy analysis, including:Journalists have also sought to share personal and community stories about migrant workers, such as:In publishing stories in major news outlets and sharing on social media, the fellows’ stories have reached an audience of millions in the region. Following their participation in the programme, fellows suggested that they now “consider a wider variety of migration topics” and have “changed the terminology used to describe migrants and migration issues”. Along with the stories produced as part of the programme, the fellows have continued to publish stories on migration, labour rights, human trafficking and forced labour. In some instances those that work with media outlets have become the focal points for this reporting within their newsrooms, and been active in pushing for an increase in stories on labour migration within their outlet – ensuring that these stories align with international labour standards and best practice in ethical journalism.

The programme has also led to collaboration with leading actors in the field, including the Ethical Journalism Network (implementing partner), Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism (ARIJ), the Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN), and Panos South Asia.