Promoting media content about and with the participation of refugees from Ukraine is the goal pursued by the Independent Journalism Center through the Refugees in Media section, created and updated on the Media Azi portal in 2023. Thus, we intended, on the one hand, to increase the access of refugees to accurate and relevant information on topics of interest to them, and on the other hand, to increase the skills of journalists in addressing these topics.
The section mainly contains articles, broadcasts, reports and other journalistic products released by the editorial offices of TV8, Jurnal TV, Elita TV, Studio-L, as well as by the public television Moldova 1, as beneficiaries of the project Support for Ukrainian Refugees through Media. Their publications illustrate the ethical coverage of the problems faced by refugees, various strategies for presenting conflict situations, ethical and sensitive communication in the process of making materials with and about displaced persons from Ukraine.
On the other hand, through several analyses, editorials and interviews, journalists and media experts have brought back to the attention of their colleagues in the media rules and standards to take into account when the protagonists of their broadcasts are refugees – vulnerable people with sensitive stories. For instance, Steven Youngblood, American professor and peace journalism expert, wrote how the media got “stuck on traditional narratives about refugees” and noted that more constructive approaches are needed in the media to “sustain public support in the critical months ahead, as the war is prolonged and expectations around an early resolution and return diminish.” Journalist Irina Stryapko explained that empathy and ethics matter in the coverage of stories of forcibly displaced people from Ukraine.
In this section, the Media Azi team published several materials with tips an tricks, informed about harmful narratives that circulated in Moldova referring to refugees since the start of the war in Ukraine and compiled suggestions from several relevant foreign sources on essential rules in addressing refugee-related topics.
The Support for Ukrainian Refugees through Media project, funded by the Government of Japan, is a UNESCO initiative developed within the Ukrainian Situation Regional Refugee Response Plan, coordinated by UNHCR.