The international project Migrants in the Spotlight was implemented by International Organization for Migration (IOM) from November 2010 until December 2011 in collaboration with partner organizations in six European countries: the Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Romania and the Slovak Republic.

The aim of the project in these countries was to increase the expertise of media professionals on migration, and thus through more effective and accurate reporting on migration issues raise awareness among the public about migration and migrants, to reduce the stereotypes and prejudices in society and thereby promote the integration of migrants.

An international competition for the best article and documentary on a migration-related issue

University students from EU countries had the possibility to enter an international competition, and creatively express their opinions on migration and migrants, or describe their personal experience with migration in their countries. The competition helped to draw attention to their approaches and contributed to the enhancement of public awareness about migration issues. Slovakia succeeded in this competition twice: 24-year-old Magdaléna Vaculčiaková from Slovakia won in the category Articles with her piece “Good, good, good!” narrating the story of a Burmese family living in the Czech Republic; and 22-year-old Thanakon Tiwawong from Thailand, a student at the University of Economics in Bratislava, won the third prize in the same category with his article about the life of foreigner in Slovakia. You can see the winning works below:

Category ARTICLES

1. prize – Magdaléna Vaculčiaková: Good, good, good!

2. prize – Cristina-Elena Staicu: The reality behind the exotic façade: An immigration story

3. prize – Thanakon Tiwawong: My life – My story

Category DOCUMENTARY FILMS

1. prize – Zdenĕk Chaloupka: „Elena“

2. prize – Nikol Cibulya a Anna Csonka: „Hungary, my step home“

3. prize – Ania Dana Cazan: „Incomplete“

Trainings for media professionals and students of journalism

In October 2011 IOM and Milan Šimečka Foundation carried out two workshops – one for journalists from migrants´ media and media professionals from eight Slovak print and electronic media; and the second one for university students from Bratislava, Nitra, Košice and Prešov.

The programme was designed to provide the participants with information and skills needed to process the issues of migration and integration in media so that they could contribute to higher quality media coverage of these topics. The media professionals took this opportunity to prepare reports on migration and interview migrants for their news. Similarly, the students published their articles on migration, integration and diversity in different kinds of media after the workshops. The workshops programme was led by Slovak and foreign journalists and experts, who shared their valuable experience from daily work with migration issues in media – a British journalist Richard Cookson and Marie Stracenská, an issue editor of the main news programme in the television channel TV Markíza. Participants welcomed the opportunity to receive interesting information directly from migrants who shared their personal experience with migration and immigrant life in a new country.

International conference Promoting Migrant Integration through Media and Intercultural Dialogue

In May 2011, more than 100 media professionals, media associations, NGOs involved in migration issues, migrant organizations and EU policymakers participated in a conference held in Budapest. The participants discussed and analysed current practices in media reporting on migration in Europe and put forward recommendations on how media could better portray migration and thus contribute to integration of migrants. The conference was carried out by IOM in collaboration with the Ministry of Interior of Republic of Hungary within the framework of Hungarian EU Presidency.

Internships in the field of migration

Leading local and international organizations in the field of migration and migrant integration offered students and young professionals from different European countries the opportunity to gain some important work experience that could help their future career opportunities. In Slovakia, internships were hosted at IOM and Milan Šimečka Foundation.

Migration on social network sites

You can visit the IOM Slovakia Facebook page, where you can find a lot of important information and interesting facts about migration and asylum.

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The project Migrants in the Spotlight: Training and Capacity Building for Media Representatives and Students was co-funded by the European Commission from the European Fund for the Integration of Third-Country Nationals – Community Actions 2009.

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In Slovakia, the project was implemented by International Organization for Migration (IOM) in collaboration with Milan Šimečka Foundation. The partner of the workshops was The MediaWise Trust from the United Kingdom.

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