EU-Funded Report Tells Journalists not to Write Negative Articles on Migrant Crisis
A new journalistic code of practice, funded by the EU, calls on journalists to avoid reporting on the migrant crisis in a negative way, refrain from linking Islam to terror and avoid mentioning whether or not a criminal migrant was in the country illegally.
The guideline even calls on journalists to report their colleagues to the authorities for “hate speech” if they do so.
The code, financed by the European Union’s Rights, Equality and Citizenship program, defines hate speech as expressions which ‘promote or justify xenophobia’ including ‘intolerance expressed by aggressive nationalism’.
The report says that although journalism cannot ‘solve the problem of hate speech on its own…the European Union must reinforce existing mechanisms and support new tools designed to combat hate speech’.
To do this, the report calls on journalists to shop their colleagues to police, as well as people who comment on their articles, on the grounds that they’ve committed a hate speech offence.
The new guidelines ask hacks to not to report ‘migrants as exclusively having a negative impact on society’ and singles out ‘reports that present migration as constituting a net cost to the social safety net’ and to only mention a migrant’s ethnic origin or religion ‘when necessary for the audience to understand the news’.
The code urges reporters not to focus on ‘issues such as whether asylum seekers’ claims are genuine’, which is odd because the EU’s own statistics show that most of those who come are economic migrants who don’t qualify for protected refugee status.
It also calls on journalists to refrain from reporting on crimes committed by migrants unless they include ‘statistics that disprove assumptions that migration leads to rising crime levels’ — a worrying ask for those on the right who frequently write about no-go zones which are directly linked to mass migration.
“Don’t fall into the trap of focusing solely on possible negative aspects of large-scale migration. It is also important to highlight positive contributions of migration and individual migrants,” they say.
The report’s author states: “When problems inside the asylum system occur — e.g, migrants riot, or an increase in small-time criminality is noted — look critically for the root cause” — which on the previous page, the authors say includes “poverty and climate change”. Climate change?!
The report recommends that journalists should not use the adjective “illegal” when referring to migrants.
When reporting on Islam, journalists are asked not to refer to Islamic culture as ‘barbaric, irrational, primitive, aggressive, threatening or prone to terrorism’ and when reporting negative or ‘hateful comments’ towards Muslims, reporters should ‘challenge any false premises on which such comments rely’.
Additionally, the group say that reporters shouldn’t quote politicians or other public figures on migration ‘without challenging their statements’ and recommends approaching migrant advocacy groups for lines that can be used against anti-migration narratives — effectively asking supposedly neutral reporters to become pro-migrant advocates within the media.
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Source: Locust Blog