Migration jumped to the top of the news agenda in 2015 with journalists in Europe, Middle East and Africa reporting the biggest mass movement of people around the world in recent history. Television screens and newspapers have been filled with stories about the appalling loss of life and suffering of thousands of people escaping war and poverty.

But how well are media coping with this story and how is migration being reported in other parts of the world? To answer these questions the Ethical Journalism Network published Moving Stories an international review of how media cover migration and created migration reporting guidelines in 2016 that have formed the basis for EJN training of journalists around Europe over the last few years.

In 2017, supporting media to cover migration with more accuracy and humanity continued to be a key part of the EJN’s work, culminating in the production of a 17-country study on how media on both sides of the Mediterranean report on migration for the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) and co-authoring a chapter to an IOM publication on improving data on missing migrants.In 2017 the EJN authored Media and Trafficking in Human Beings – Guidelines for the ICMPD.


Migration Reporting Guidelines

To provide support to journalists covering migration the EJN launched new guidelines in September 2016 at the Global Forum for Media Development. Download the guidelines for use in your newsroom, or watch the video below explaining them by the EJN’s chair Dorothy Byrne.

Migration Reporting Toolkit

The Ethical Journalism Network has worked with the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) to develop an online resource for journalists reporting on migration.


Migration Reporting Guidelines for Pakistani media

Following a series of online consultations with Pakistani media in November and December 2020, the EJN has developed a set of guidelines for reporting on migration and a journalists’ toolkit for migration reporting for the Pakistani media.

These guidelines are now available as infographics in English and Urdu. They have been produced in partnership with the ICMPD and the Migrant Resource Centre, with funding from the European Union and the German Federal Foreign Office.  Download the infographics for use in your newsroom.


Migration is back: are the media up to reporting the story?

Watch the video of this panel event recorded on 14 July 2021. Chaired by Rizwana Hamid, Director of the Centre for Media Monitoring and EJN UK Committee member, our panel included Amelia Gentleman, Jamal Osman, Marzia Rango, Benedict Rogers and Chantal da Silva.

The panel discusses the reporting of migration and asks how the media should shape the public view of migrants in these changing and challenging times for the UK.



Mixed messages: Media coverage of migration and fatalities

In September 2017 the International Organization of Migration launched ‘Fatal Journeys’, a study on improving data on missing migrants, with a chapter written by the EJN, at the Frontline Club in London.

The EJN’s Director Aidan White, co-wrote the third chapter, ‘Challenges faced by the media in reporting migrant deaths’, with Ann Singleton a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Bristol and Senior Advisor to the International Organisation of Migration’s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC). The chapter focuses on the ethical challenges of reporting on the missing and dead, and how can information be presented without de-humanising the victims or breaching their rights to privacy.


How does the media on both sides of the Mediterranean report on migration?

The Ethical Journalism Network was commissioned by the International Centre for Migration Policy Development to produce a study analysing how media cover migration in 17 countries in Europe, Middle East and Africa. ICMPD commissioned the study within the framework of EUROMED Migration IV (EMM4, 2016-2019) which is financed by the European Union and implemented by ICMPD.


Moving Stories

The Ethical Journalism Network commissioned Moving Stories in 2015 – a review of how media in selected countries have reported on refugees and migrants in a tumultuous year. The writers and researchers from or working in the 14 countries covered in the report examine the quality of coverage and to highlight reporting problems as well as good work.


EJN report on refugee images

Refugee Images

What decisions are made before photographs of refugees and war victims appear in our newspapers, or as video and stills on our computers, mobiles and television screens? Should journalists be more critical when publishing and interpreting such pictures?

These were among the questions we explore in the Refugee Images – Ethics in the Picture chapter of the EJN’s 2017 Ethics in the News. This chapter, by Misja Pekel and Maud van de Rejit was published on December 18, 2016 to coincide with International Migrants Day.




Support the work of the Ethical Journalism Network

If you share our mission, please consider donating to the Ethical Journalism Network. Your financial contribution will help the EJN to support journalists around the world who are striving to uphold ethical practices in order to build public trust in good journalism.