COPEAM conference tells all facets of immigration

Mediterranean public radio and TV gather at Malta conference

27 March, 18:26

    Copeam Conference in Malta Copeam Conference in Malta

    (by Patrizio Nissirio) (ANSAmed) - LA VALLETTA - Public radio and television stations in Mediterranean countries can and should play a key role in properly recounting migration across the Mediterranean, along with their crucial political, social and economic implications. This was the central message that emerged from the 22nd gathering of the COPEAM (Permanent Conference of the Mediterranean audiovisuals), this year held in Valletta.

    For two days, about 200 representatives of public radio and television from around the region are debating how to strengthen and increase cooperation among the media to better narrate together the epocal movement of people that is deeply changing countries, cultures and sensitivities.

    Opened with the greetings of the Maltese Culture Minister Owen Bonnici, the inaugural session was attended by, among others, the RAI President Anna Maria Tarantola, who is also vice president of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU); COPEAM President Talal el Makdessi; and Maltese PBS TV President Tonio Portuguesa, who organized this 2015 edition of the gathering.

    Tarantola recalled the impressive numbers of migrants to the Italian coast, and pointed out, however, that ''behind the numbers there are human beings''. Tarantola thus mentioned the choice made by RAI News to not show ISIS videos in order to avoid feeding the propaganda desired by the terrorists.

    The concept was taken up and also reiterated by Mohamed Salem Ould Bouke, managing director of the Islamic Broadcasting Union.

    "The fundamental idea is that the truth, the whole truth, must be told about immigration, and that the sin of omission not be committed, as has been forcefully stated by many speakers at the conference," explained Pierluigi Malesani, secretary general of COPEAM. "One can not only pay attention to security and terrorism, and not speak of the human and economic problems that are behind these stories. In this sense, it is essential among public broadcasters to collaborate and not just talk about it".

    For COPEAM President Talal el Makdessi, "As public TV, we can go to the heart of the problem, namely: why do these people leave their countries and risk it all? The answer is the responsibility of the leaders of these nations, who must understand the needs of their people. And this is also the role of public television (broadcasters), who by definition deal with people and their needs. If do not do it, who will? Commercial television?" The annual COPEAM meeting is also the time for various committees - ranging in topics from training to gender equality - to take stock of shared activities over the past year and plan new ones. Work today was preceded yesterday by the presentation of The 6th Continent, a photography project by Mattia Insolera that crosses the Mediterranean, and documentary awards, won by In the Name of the Father, by Peter Leban and Thomas Mania for RTV Slovenia, and Halima, by Ahmed Madfai for SNRT-Morocco. Both received the Inter-Rives IV Award.

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