How do we tell migration crises? BRIDGES releases the first programme of its podcast series on migration narratives

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The first programme of the BRIDGES Podcast Series tackles media coverage of the Ukrainian exodus versus previous refugee crises and the political use of migration in European public and political debates. This podcast is the result of a workshop on “Telling migration crises” that gathered 30 experts and journalists from all over Europe in Barcelona to discuss the dilemmas journalists face when covering migration issues.

What is the role of media in producing and re-producing certain narratives on migration? Why are Ukrainian refugees being portrayed as victims while people fleeing other conflicts are portrayed as a threat? Are media contributing to the increasing polarisation around migration issues in European public and political debates? These are some of the questions covered on the first programme of the BRIDGES Podcast Series, which counts on the participation of Ferruccio Pastore, BRIDGES Scientific Co-Coordinator and Director of FIERI; May Bulman, Social Affairs Correspondent at The Independent; and András Földes, journalist and video-journalist at; under the moderation of Mar Sabé Dausà.

This is the first out of the three podcasts on migration narratives that will be produced by the H2020 BRIDGES project as a way to engage some of the main stakeholders involved in narratives’ production and impact in the discussions held within the scope of the project. In this case, the programme is the result of a workshop with media professionals hosted by the Barcelona Centre for International Affairs (CIDOB) on May 20, 2022, in the framework of the first BRIDGES Annual Meeting in Barcelona. 

Under the title “Telling migration crises”, this workshop gathered 30 experts and journalists from across Europe. They analysed how media are tackling the exodus of millions of people from Ukraine versus previous refugee crises, such as the 2015 one in the Mediterranean, particularly as to how to avoid becoming part of the border spectacle when covering these events. They also discussed the dilemmas journalists face when dealing with exclusionary discourses, disinformation and hate speech, and how this relates to the increasing polarisation around migration issues in public and political debates.

Both the workshop and the podcast are part of BRIDGES’ efforts to understand why some narratives on migration become dominant over others and what is the role of media in this process. These research efforts will be reflected in a series of Working Papers presenting the result of an exhaustive analysis of media and social media coverage of different migration-related events in France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Spain, and the UK. 

Listen to the BRIDGES Podcast Series #1: Telling migration crises on Spotify, RSS and YouTube, and visit the project’s website to check out all BRIDGES publications and outputs. Subscribe to the newsletter to get the latest updates inbox, and follow the BRIDGES Twitter and Instagram profiles to learn more about the project’s activities. 

BRIDGES: Assessing the production and impact of migration narratives” is a project funded by the Horizon 2020 EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation and implemented by a diverse consortium of 12 universities, think tanks, research centres, cultural associations, and civil society organisations from all over Europe under the coordination of CIDOB.