Launched in response to growing concern about the way refugee and asylum issues were being covered in the UK and European media, the Refugees, Asylum-seekers & the Media (RAM) Project set out to offer advice to complainants and assist refugee groups in their media relations in 1999.
Soon it was providing media training for networks of concerned citizens and refugee community groups in dispersal areas, working closely with NUJ members and exiled journalists and attracting attention from all over Europe.
RAM Project activities included:
- a guidance leaflet for journalists;
- a monthly electronic bulletin distributed to 2,000 community groups & journalists;
- supporting networks of local refugee and media activists;
- use-of-the-media training for community groups in dispersal areas;
- national and local dialogue with editors and journalists;
- monitoring media coverage with the academic partners;
- training and work experience opportunities to help exiled journalists return to work;
- the establishment of the Exiled Journalists’ Network.
In line with a central theme of the Refugees, Asylum-seekers and the Media (RAM) Project, we handed over RAM communications to the Exiled Journalists’ Network (EJN) in 2005.
However, MediaWise continues to help anyone with complaints about coverage and keeps a watching brief on media coverage of immigration issues.
In 2005, we published The RAM Report: campaigning for fair and accurate coverage of refugees and asylum seekers which explains every aspect of the ground-breaking work conducted by the RAM Project since 1999. It is designed to assist minority groups develop strategies that will improve media coverage of their issues and is available here.