If empathy and emotional involvement are fundamental, using evidence-based communication and data is a key element to tackle fake information and stigmatising news aimed at denigrating migrants. While we are seeing non-ethical journalism increasingly spreading hatred and defiance towards migrants online and, in particular, on social media, a winning strategy is one which produces targeted information that restores the truth and broadcasts it.
In this fact-checking and debunking effort, it is also important to recognise that both research and practice have shown that rational arguments and facts, alone, are not enough to counteract racist discourses (see for example Words are stones, International Report 2019)
As a consequence, facts, data and evidences should be used as building blocks of a narrative, which needs to be connected to people’s understanding, apply to the real context of their lives and relate to their needs (see also Council of Europe 2017).
From theory to practice
Select the key facts you want to focus on
It is important to carefully select the key facts and evidence upon which to base your narrative. These will need to be adequate to counter the challenges you want to address. Try also to detect if there are surprising and unexpected facts, as they can allow grasping your audience’s attention. The Reframing Migration Narratives Toolkit provides some hints to structure your narrative starting from evidence.
Use data to tell visual stories
Use graphics and maps, to visually explore data and to communicate them in a visual powerful way. An effective data visualisation should be clear, accessible and transparent.
You can also combine graphics, maps, images, texts and statistics in infographics.
Make numbers memorable
Make statistics memorable by communicating them in creative ways. You can for example choose a relevant key number and ask your community to represent it in social media in different ways.