A new book on media solidarities authored by Kaarina Nikunen highlights Migrant Tales’ activism

by , under Enrique Tessieri

Thank you Kaarina Nikunen, a University of Tampere professor of media and communication research, for writing about our blog community in “Media Solidarities, Emotions, Power and Justice in the Digital Age” published in February. 

“I consider activist media, such as Migrant Tales, as part of the larger concept of alternative media that includes a variety of media promotions. What unites them is their small size, independence from state and markets, horizontal participatory organization, as well as motives for solidarity, equality and justice – although we can see that not all media that claims to be alternative, assume these values (Bailey et al., 2007b; Downing 2001: Pajnik and Downing, 2008).”

“One of the reasons why Migrant Tales has been able to cover a series of exclusive stories on the conditions of asylum seekers and deportations is related to the networks and close connections with the asylum seekers and immigrants. Since many of the citizen journalists of Migrant Tales are immigrants themselves, they have been able o build trust with the community of asylum seekers and immigrants.”

“The [Migrant Tales] blog operates on a voluntary basis, on an open code WordPress-platform without any external funding. It might even characterized as a hobby. Yet, it is interconnected with professional media by feeding them stories on issues connected with migration. Despite the lack of permanent funding or support, the writers of the blog conduct investigative journalism on topics that can take weeks or even months of their personal time. The editor of Migrant Tales takes pride in the economic independence of the blog. In his view, the fact that it doesn’t accept any sponsors provides freedom from outside pressure.”

Migrant Tales is an example of a new media economy that makes use of voluntary work in different ways. It is also an example of the shift in media landscape where blogs and social media sites have acquired central space in public debates and challenged the role of mainstream media in society.”