IOM  Awards Twelve Nigerian Journalists For Quality Reportage

Zakaa Lazarus, Abuja

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Abuja Nigeria, on Thursday 28 July 2022, awarded twelve Journalists for giving quality reportage on migration issues  Nigeria.

Speaking at the  ceremony, IOM Nigeria Chief of Mission, Prestage Murima said that the Media has an influential role in shaping public opinion about migration as Nigeria continues to be a country of origin, transit, and destination of migrants.

She  stressed that misinformation, fake news, and stigmatisation have been witnessed before and during the pandemic, hence making the place of evidence-based journalism more essential.

“The relevance of media in all aspects of human endeavour cannot be overemphasised. More so in the area of better migration management. Media engagement is imperative, given the pressing need to promote safe and regular migration as well as discourage irregular migration,” She said.

MHPSS Project Officer, Narulita Ayu, also explained that Migrants can be exposed to various stress factors which affect their mental health and well-being before and during their migratory journey, settlement and reintegration.

 “The mental health needs of migrants should be addressed by organising inclusive and accessible promotion and prevention programmes, and reporting positive stories of strength and resilience”. Ayu said.

The winners were awarded with certificates, and cash prizes amounting to six hundred US Dollars.

The Reporting Migration Competition was organised under the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration to foster quality reporting on the reintegration and protection of migrants.

This initiative is based on a “solutions journalism” approach, which identifies and responds to key social issues.

The award ceremony was the outcome of a process that began on the 7th of April, 2022, with the launch of the call for applications.

Nigerian journalists working in local and international media had a month to submit entries on irregular migration, return and reintegration and migrant protection.

56 submissions were received and assessed based on rigorous evaluation criteria by a jury comprising academia, experienced journalists, the European Union Delegation in Nigeria and media experts from IOM.

Twelve journalists were awarded for stories and reports published in four categories, including radio, television, online and print.

At the award ceremony the Media’s attention was drawn to the importance of mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS), particularly when reporting stories of vulnerable migrants with mental health needs.

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