Chahreddine Berriah from Algeria was in September awarded a Migration Media Award for his report on a group of undocumented migrants living in an informal ghetto on the border between Algeria and Morocco.
“To me this award represents the culmination of a long career within journalism devoted mostly to report on minorities and the migration issue, which I have been interested in since 1999,” says the 58-year-old journalist to IMS.
The Migration Media Award is funded by the EU and has existed since 2017. It recognizes “the journalistic excellence, relevance and newsworthiness of press pieces dealing with migration in the Euro-Mediterranean region in all its aspects”. The award exists in both a French and English language version with categories for various types of media productions.
Chahreddine Berriah wrote the winning article as part of an IMS programme, Migrant Voices, where journalists across the African continent were sensitised to providing accurate, nuanced and contextual coverage from the perspective of the migrants and to covering the different aspects of migrant trails.
“The training with IMS has taught me to write on migration issues in an objective way – with a human touch, choosing the right words and without any sensationalism. In Rabat [where the training took place, ed.] I met both with succesful migrants and specialists within the migration field, which was very enriching,” he says.
For his next project, Berriah hopes to be able to follow in the footsteps of the thousands of migrants who are expelled from Algeria to Niger.
The IMS-programme Migrant Voices aims to provide African migrants with a voice in the media.
“Stories on migration are often neglected or one-sided, focusing on the sensational or negative aspects of migration or presenting only the governmental line on refugees and migrants,” says Finn Rasmussen, head of IMS’ department for Africa.
Migrant Voices supports media production on migration issues by local journalists from the four African sub regions through four hubs – a Northern Hub in Morocco, Western Hub in Niger, Eastern Hub in Somalia, and Southern Hub in Zimbabwe.
By establishing networks within and sometimes between journalists from the various hubs, the programme also ensures a continued exchange of experience and methodology between the involved journalists.
The programme is implemented by IMS from 2017-2018 and is financially supported by the Ford Foundation.
Find more info and see the various stories produced as part of the programme on the Migrant Voices website.