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Roisin Boyd

Roisin Boyd

P: +353-877989139
Campus: Aungier Street

Research Topic: Revelation and Concealment: The Validation of Refugee and Asylum-Seeking Narratives

My doctoral research analyses the discursive construction of refugee stories in the print and broadcast media, and the role ‘credibility' performs in refugee and asylum-seeking narratives. I am interested in interrogating Irish journalistic and advocacy practices, including my own, surrounding the representation of people seeking asylum, in particular the role media plays in how asylum seekers are viewed by ‘others', including Government officials, and how they view themselves. How are the voices of refugees heard and what stories do they tell? Do they feel obliged to narrate their stories in certain ways? Arguably, the refugee story is in danger of becoming a commodity or indeed acquiring a generic format, where refugees feel obliged to tell a particular story to satisfy both the media and representatives of the state. Key research questions arise in the depiction of asylum seekers and their lives. Is there a prevailing ‘culture of disbelief' and if so, is it possible to tell the refugee story anymore? Have the public reached an end of ‘tolerance' with refugee and asylum seeker stories? If it is true that increasingly hostile environments exist in Ireland and Europe for asylum seekers, could it be suggested that the refugee story is now evacuated of meaning, truth and persuasion? Is there an ‘acquired culture of silence and secrecy'? (Hajdukowski-Ahmed 2008) If so, how does this influence communication between journalists, asylum seekers and refugees? Refugee and asylum seeker narratives are moulded for different audiences, sometimes with the assistance of their smugglers or lawyers. This study will explore different visual and narrative techniques with subjects who often choose not to be identified either visually or otherwise. Does this anonymity cause the narrative to lose its power? What of the emphasis concerning veracity or ‘truth' when refugees and asylum seekers tell their stories? And how do we do justice to the individual experience when the individual is identified with a particular group, in this case asylum seekers and refugees?

My background is in journalism and advocacy. I have worked in RTE as a current affairs reporter and producer and have covered refugee stories in Ireland, Somalia, Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Cambodia, Vietnam, Pakistan, India and the Philippines. My work has criss-crossed media work and advocacy. After leaving RTE in 2001 I worked both as a producer and as a communications advocate with human rights NGOs Frontline, FLAC and the Irish Refugee Council. I have mentored and designed a radio documentary course with migrant women journalists, Having Your Voice Heard, in collaboration with FOMACS (Forum on Migration and Communications), and scripted an animated story of asylum Burden of Proof, also with FOMACS. I continue to work across both fields - journalism and advocacy - with a particular emphasis on using media engagement as a way of developing and enhancing understanding of the human dimensions inherent in the social and political issues Ireland faces today.

Selected Conferences

'Having Your Voice Heard': A Broadcast Documentary Radio-Mentoring Project with Migrant Women in Ireland', Radio Research 2013. Radio: The Resilient Medium. European Communications Research and Education Association (ECREA),
University of Sunderland London Campus (September).

Selected Broadcast Credits

Drivetime, RTE Radio 1, Current Affairs Producer

Mind Your Business, RTE Radio 1, Executive Producer

Saturday View and General Election Special, RTE Radio 1, Senior Producer

Leaving Home Alone - Separated Children in Ireland & DRC, Today with Pat Kenny RTE Radio 1, Reporter and Producer. Funded by Media Challenge (Irish Aid)

The Midnight Court, Tyrone Productions for RTE, Senior Producer

1983 - 2001

RTE Radio: Women Today, Today with Pat Kenny, Today at Five, Liveline,Tonight with Vincent Browne, Worlds Apart, The Sunday Show, Testing Positive, From Brussels to BelmulletR

RTE Television: In Good Faith, The Current Account, Prime Time

Radio Documentaries: Back from the Brink - Rebuilding Cambodia after the Khmer Rouge
Fatal Attraction - The Rise of the Sendero Luminoso in Peru
River of Hope - The Conflict in Somalia
Fear in Paradise - The Civil War in Sri Lanka
Innocence for Sale - Child Prostitution in the Philippines

Selected Awards

Primetime Winner of the European Year Against Racism (National TV and Radio) Award for documentary about Refugees in Ireland

From Brussels to Belmullet: Winner of the ESB National Media Award - Radio Campaigning and Social Issues

Five Seven Live Winner of the Law Society's Justice Media Award for series on Five Seven Live on Children at Risk

2001 - Present
Comunications Advocacy with Frontline - Human Rights Defenders, FLAC, Older & Bolder, Third Age, Age & Opportunity, NASC, IRC

Part-Time Lecturer Radio journalism DIT, Aungier Street

2007 - 2010
Head of Communications, Irish Refugee Council






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