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Refugees, Displacement and conflict-Malala Yousufzai on The Daily Show

Pakistan faces several social, political, and economic crises with various stakeholders that suffer daily. Malala Yousufzai was a victim of a Taliban attack in swat, and while she survived the attack, the issue fueled a conversation around the globe. As shown in this specific episode of The Daily Show, the conversation isn’t only limited to female education; it plunges into other matters such as displacement, economic crisis, and trauma faced by refugees worldwide. Malala addresses the issue of the US border and how many refugees died because they weren’t allowed to seek refugee in various parts of the world. She uses her voice as a person who has faced displacement and sheds light on the lack of safety, laws, and resources.

The Malala fund is one of the few organizations helping refugees; however, the problem stems from something more profound than just a lack of resources. I believe that the refugee crisis is poorly represented in the media. Although many media outlets have focused on humanistic reporting and on telling the stories of refugees, very few journalists are trained to cover this issue – with significant consequences. The point of populations on the move has been highlighted by the Syrian exodus and its impact on Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan, and Europe. Still, it is also very evident in the Americas, East African countries, Afghanistan, Iraq, and India. In this context, untrained reporters are failing to pick up the relevance of differences between the terms “migrants,” “asylum-seekers,” and “refugees.” Another result of unprepared journalists is that the media have often reduced refugees to an image where they are either a (male) threat or a group of victims. They both create a “us and them,” which reveals differences at the expense of covering shared human issues amongst residents and newcomers. Link to the episode:

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3 commenti

Great post, Mehvish! You've highlighted such an important and seldom talked about issue. I am inclined to disagree with your central argument that the reasons reporters and media outlets are unable to effectively cover the refugee crisis is because of a lack of training. In my opinion, the problem arises due to the political nature of the refugee crisis and the inevitable political nature of media. As a result, media houses have political incentives to shape the narrative around refugees and migration according to what their political backers desire. For instance, Republican-backed media houses in the USA have an incentive to paint a picture of refugees as people who are stealing jobs and are a nuisance; given this incentive, they make…

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It is surely an interesting narrative to write on. Media as facilitators of public debate are widely viewed as a key tool for managing the increasing diversity in society. However, in Europe, when reporting on arrivals of refugees and migrants throughout 2015-2016 media played a central role in framing these events as a “crisis”. This perspective contributed to negative and sometimes hostile attitudes amongst the public toward the newcomers.

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A really interesting take to focus on the lack of media training. I'd like to take this discussion a step further to say that I feel even the usage of terms like "refugee" and "asylum-seekers" have often reduced people to a statistic, a culmination of their background and their country. Using these terms blindly groups individuals together and removes their personal stories. I don't have a solution for this really, I understand that sometimes their issues must be discussed as a community rather than just individuals, but I feel like something is missing. It almost reminds me of how the term "feminist" has unfortunately become associated with too much negativity (because of people who don't understand, or share our views)…

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