On the eve of World Press Freedom Day, May 2, the Moroccan Network of Migration Journalists (RMJM) organized a round table at the Casablanca School of Journalism and Communication (ESJC), with support of OXFAM Morocco, under the theme "Media and Migrants: What if we instigate dialogues?"
In his opening remarks, Alpha Noulou Camara, secretary general of the Platform of Associations and Sub-Saharan Communities in Morocco, said he regretted the fact that "most journalists in Morocco promote a bad image of migration" and further stressed that migration is a subject that requires "real investigative work".
Asked by HuffPost Morocco, Salaheddine Memaizi, a journalist for the daily Les Inspirations ECO and president of the RMJM, said he considered poor media coverage of migration as an international problem: "This is the case in all the media in the world, we reduce the issue of migration to that of irregular migration. We focus on moments of tension or on specific places such as refugee camps, fences, gates, and walls. If we look at the figures, the vast majority of migrants move with papers, for work, or study, and under secure conditions. Those who do it under conditions of non-papers, remain a minority compared to the roughly 250 million migrants around the world.
"Furthermore, migrants in regular situations have rights, including rights to access media, which are responsible for ensuring good media treatment of the migration issue, a professional, balanced and, above all, humanistic treatment. It's not a charity, it's a responsibility." Memaizi further stressed the importance of providing training for journalists, as well as journalism students.
The Moroccan Network of Migration Journalists (RMJM) was created in November 2018 by journalists from different media outlets. Its goal is to create a space for exchange, reflection, collaboration, mutual aid and mutualisation on migration issues. Its members also pledge to defend freedom of expression and access to information among the various public migration actors. A structure of vigilance and ethical coverage of migration by Moroccan and foreign media is also on the network agenda.