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Human trafficking remains ignored by the global media

Human trafficking remains ignored by the global media
Ignored: The global news agenda for the past twelve months has touched very little on human trafficking as conflict in various parts of the world have dominated reporting. The paucity of coverage on the topic hampers public awareness of the issue.Photo: attacktrafficking.org

The global media has turned a blind eye to the issue of human trafficking, focusing on conflict around the globe instead. It is estimated that some 2,5 million people are victims of trafficking each year but the issues are not covered in great depth by the world’s media. Incidentally, last week marked world human trafficking awareness week.

The United Nations, which is at the forefront of the fight against human trafficking, should be able to increase awareness on this issue but even in reporting on the multi-lateral organisation, coverage of human trafficking remains marginal, according to Media Tenor which recently conducted research into media trends surrounding the topic. The prominence of the UN as a source for stories on human trafficking however indicate that more could be done to improve awareness by granting these sources more space to highlight the issues.

Media Tenor’s Research Manager, Matthew Wate, stated, “Our research highlights the need to work harder in ensuring that stories like the fight against human trafficking, we have seen significant focus given to refugees but people who suffer trafficking are not given the same media attention”.

Media Tenor has been following the media coverage of human trafficking for several years and the global media still do not give human trafficking enough coverage to reach the awareness threshold but it has featured to a small degree on TV news in the UK and Italy. The BBC in particular has shown a willingness to explore human trafficking in the past year. This report is based on the analysis of 836,866 reports gathered from 24 Global TV news programs. The average inter-coder reliability in the first quarter of 2014 was 87,37 per cent.

The global news agenda for the past twelve months has touched very little on human trafficking as conflict in various parts of the world have dominated reporting. The paucity of coverage on the topic hampers public awareness of the issue. The study found that while there were some 17,000 reports related to conflict, the number of reports about human trafficking were was around 500.

In contrast to other topics it is related to, the UN remains the primary driver of conversation on human trafficking with the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights being the most prominent source for reports on human trafficking.

Date posted: July 13, 2015 Last modified: May 24, 2018 Total views: 0