Providing Information; Respecting Privacy
After much anticipation, the arrival of refugee families in their host communities is bound to attract attention. Media representatives will want to tell the story. And it will be in the interest of the refugees and their sponsors to help them report the story in a reasonable and respectful way. It will also encourage the wider community to offer ongoing support to its newest members in the months ahead.
At the same time it is important that the privacy of the new arrivals be respected. Here are a few considerations to help us, as a sponsoring community, respond to public and media interest.
ARRIVAL AND EARLY DAYS
The Welcoming and Communication teams from Sackville Refugee Response Coalition will work with media and others to facilitate a warm welcome, celebrate the arrival, and yet ensure the newcomers have as much space and privacy as they need.
It is important that everyone, including media representatives, be sensitive to the situation of arriving refugee families. They will be travel-weary, possibly landing with young children or elders in a new and foreign country, perhaps with limited English skills and recovering from trauma.
A single spokesperson for SRRC will be available for media interviews on the arrival of each refugee family.
Media may be at the airport or eager to contact new arrivals once they arrive in Sackville. Media do have the right to photograph and videotape their arrival in a public space such as an airport. If the family feels uncomfortable, threatened or concerned about potential repercussions in their home country, the SRRC spokesperson will ask the media to forego that right.
Newly arriving families have every right to decline media interviews. If the family chooses not be interviewed at this time, the spokesperson will respectfully advise the media of this fact.
SRRC representatives will be prepared to relay information about the group and how it came together; the preparations for welcoming families to Sackville; what comes next in the process of helping new residents to acclimatize, and steps to help our community be good neighbours.
FOLLOWING WEEKS AND MONTHS
Follow-up coverage of how the new arrivals are adapting and what they think of their new country and community will be of interest. Again, this must be done respectfully and with consent as we get to know our new residents and they get to know Canada. Volunteers from SRRC are committed to continue to assist the families as needed throughout the coming months.
Media enquiries please see Contact page.