Science and the Public Sphere Seminar

Migration and media coverage: ethical challenges

foule science publicsphere

Speakers: Robert McNeil (COMPAS) and Catherine Guilyardi (BBC and Radio France)
Chair: Thomas Lacroix (MFO)


To attend this seminar, please register here:


Remaking the news? Can (or should-) academia improve migration reporting?
Robert McNeil

In this seminar, Rob McNeil (Deputy Director of the Migration Observatory, COMPAS, University of Oxford) will present and discuss a new handbook he has co-authored with Tom Law (Global Forum for Media Development/Ethical Journalism Network) for the International Centre on Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) that provides detailed guidelines to support effective and ethical practices for journalists reporting on migration. The handbook - at about 200 pages long - is probably the most comprehensive effort yet produced to teach journalists about how to report migration. It was funded by the German Federal Foreign Office.
But it also raises important questions about the role of academia in the public sphere: Should there be rules or guidelines on how public/media debates should take place? Should we expect a level of qualifying knowledge for people to express valid views about complex subjects (and how can we scrutinise this)?  Can we really expect a free exchange of ideas when people are informed by journalists? Is it positive for powerful states to fund programmes designed to train journalists - particularly those in less powerful states - in ethical practices, or is it a form of hegemony designed to further support for certain political processes/ideas?
Rob will also use this opportunity to discuss some of his research on European media practices in the reporting of migration.
The handbook is available here:


Catherine Guilyardi

Catherine Guilyardi, a radio journalist and documentary producer for French and British public broadcasters (BBC and Radio France) since 1993, has been specialized on issues relating to migrations since the 1990s. Advisor to the Musée National de l’Histoire de l’Immigration in Paris, she contributed to its opening in 2007 and now reports for its science review Hommes et Migrations. She helped create a media for the Institut Convergences Migrations (ICM) set up in 2018 to bring 400 researchers on migrations studies to work together. She was part of the pool of journalists from Africa, America, Asia and Europe who were invited by the IOM in Tunis in December 2019 to draft the Ethical charter for media coverage of migration.

Organised in collaboration with the Higher Education, Research and Innovation Department of the French Embassy in the United Kingdom.