22nd September 2016
By Tom Law

Ethical Guidelines on Migration Reporting

1. Facts not bias

  • Are we accurate and have we been impartial, inclusive and fact-based in our reporting?
  • Are we acting independently from narratives that stem from politics and emotion rather than facts?
  • Are we fairly and transparently reporting the impact of migration on communities?”

2. Know the law

  • Asylum seeker? Refugee? Victim of trafficking? Migrant worker? Do we use irregular migrant? Do we understand and use migrant definitions correctly and do we articulate to our audience the rights migrants are due under international, regional and national law?

3. Show humanity

  • Humanity is the essence of ethical journalism. But we must keep our emotions in check, avoid victimization, over simplification and the framing of coverage in a narrow humanitarian context that takes no account of the bigger picture.

4. Speak for all

  • Do we have migrant voices? Are we listening to the communities they are passing through or joining? Question how representative self-appointed community and migrant spokespeople really are.

5. Challenge hate

  • Have we avoided extremism? Have we taken the time to judge whether inflammatory content about migrants or those who seek to limit migration can lead to hatred? Words like “swarms”, “floods” and “waves” should be treated with caution, as should indiscriminate use of “racism” and “xenophobia.”
Download the infographic