The refugee situation, especially in the late summer of 2015, posed a big challenge for journalists and media agencies all over Europe. Debates did not only divide public opinion in Europe but also affected the media coverage significantly. Questions about the moral distance of journalists and the quality of the coverage were raised.
In this regard, we invited 12 journalists from 12 European countries to a workshop to Sicily, to reflect on their work and exchange ideas about good journalism and new narratives. The journalists discussed also about good examples and typical mistakes of press coverage and the role of the media throughout the crisis. They exchanged not only tools to excert influence on peoples' empathy and distribute information among the topic, but also methods to maintain the credibility of press workers who work on this controversal topic. Furthermore, the journalists made recommendations for new formats and collaborations with other journalists.
Italy offered a good location for the workshop. In 2017 most migrants who crossed the Mediterranean Sea have arrived in Italy. The country felt itself left alone in the EU with handling the situation. The journalists had the opportunity to gain an insight: they visited the Europe's largest asylum seeker's reception centre Cara di Mineo, the Italian HQ of the European agencies Frontex and EASO in Catania and the rescue ship of S.O.S. Mediterranae. Furthermore, they met representatives of local and international migration aid inititatives run by NGO's and Italian churches.