PRESS RELEASE ISSUED BY THE MINISTRY FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS: Minister Vella announces Media Migration Award to regain a balanced narrative on migration

Yesterday, Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr George W. Vella announced the launching of the Media Migration Award in Brussels, the first one of its kind, which aims at rewarding journalistic excellence on migration on both sides of the Mediterranean. The launch took place at the Brussels Press Club in the presence of European Commissioner Johannes Hahn and Mr Michael Spindelegger, former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Austria and Director General of the International Centre for Migration Policy (ICMPD). The so-called refugee crisis has sparked unprecedented coverage on migration both in Europe and internationally, which all too often strikes a one-sided tone and focuses on challenges whilst omitting the opportunities that migration offers.

The media play a central role in determining the way in which we perceive migration. This is the reason why Malta has teamed up with a number of partners to announce the new Migration Media Award under Malta’s Presidency of the Council of the EU, Minister Vella said to representatives from government, civil society and the press present at the event in the Brussels press club today. Malta was one of the countries affected by migration at a very early point in time, even before migration became a topic to be considered newsworthy, he continued. Despite the challenges Malta is facing in view of its small size and high population density, the Minister highlighted the fact that reporting on migration has undergone a positive change in Malta, providing a more balanced and factual narrative.

This award aims to provide recognition to and reward the excellence, relevance and newsworthiness of 36 journalistic pieces focusing on migration in the Euro-Mediterranean region. It is coordinated by ICMPD together with the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Malta, in collaboration with Euromed Migration IV, EASO and Open Media Hub. The winners will be announced this June in Malta. For more details visit www.migration-media-award.eu.

A common European Migration policy as well as an enhanced cooperation with the EU’s southern neighbours are both priorities of the Maltese Presidency of the EU Council.

Source: Government of Malta