This is a Chapter of the Study “How does the media on both sides of the Mediterranean report on migration?” carried out and prepared by the Ethical Journalism Network and commissioned in the framework of EUROMED Migration IV – a project, financed by the European Union and implemented by ICMPD. © European Union, 2017.
Single-minded Media Fail to Grasp Opportunities to Go Beyond Tales of Woe
Dramatic political change brought about by the fall of the former regime in January 2011 coupled with the changes in migration flows have led to the migration issue becoming a prominent focus of the Tunisian media landscape. The importance of the migration issue on the agenda of Tunisian media can be attributed to the large number of young Tunisians setting out for Europe, many of them without visas and at great risk to their lives. At the same time the conflicts in Libya and Syria have generated a large number of refugees and within the country there is a large body of migrants from African countries.
The change in the migration phenomenon has been reflected across all media platforms — in the newspapers, television and online media. Each sector of the news media, in their own way and with their own approach, deals with migration in all of its aspects, both as a source of news and as a continuing theme for editorial coverage. During 2015 and 2016 the main events that marked media coverage of migration were the tragic shipwrecks involving young Tunisians or migrants of other nationalities (Algerians, Syrians and sub-Saharans) attempting to cross the Mediterranean to Europe in makeshift boats.