Introducing ‘Changing the narrative’: A new series and approach to migration reporting

This article is written by Catherine Edwards and retrieved from The Local.

Throughout 2020, The Local has offered training on a solutions-focused approach to migration reporting for over 100 journalists. Over the next few weeks, we will be publishing some of their articles.

The goal was to make diverse migration experiences more visible and to tackle polarised narratives through articles investigating potential solutions to problems faced by migrant communities.

The Local was set up in 2004 as a publication by immigrants, for immigrants, and we know that there is no one migrant experience. Migration can be good, bad and everything in between, but all too often it is the “everything in between” that gets left out of media portrayals.

More than 300 journalists applied to take part in the training, which throughout 2020 we have delivered for free to two groups of journalists: around 40 experienced migration journalists and 60 student and early-career journalists.

The trainees are based in 20 countries across Europe, and many either have a migration background themselves and/or have worked directly with migrants and refugees.

The student and early career trainees were given the chance to work on an article of their own, with mentoring and feedback from The Local’s journalists and their peers. Participants had free choice over which projects they wrote about — the only criteria were that the articles focused on a response to a problem that was based in Europe and had a strong link to migration.

These articles look at a wide range of challenges facing migrant communities across Europe, from mental health trauma to high rates of unemployment, and they examine responses on the local, regional, and national levels.

Over the next six weeks, we will publish the articles on The Local in the section ‘Changing the narrative’. We hope that these articles help give a new perspective to the topic of migration, by reporting on signs of progress and the lessons we can learn.

Thank you to all the journalists and students who joined the course. A final guide to solutions-focused migration reporting will be made publicly available at the end of the project in February 2021, incorporating feedback and learnings from participants. If you are a journalist, researcher or educator who would like to be put on the mailing list to receive the guide, please email

The curriculum and training sessions were developed by The Local’s journalists, and form part of an EU-wide project, MAX, which is funded by the EU’s Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF). All articles are editorially independent.