NEWSMAKING PRACTICES IN REFLECTING DIVERSITY AND PROMOTING MIGRANT            INTEGRATION        THE MEDIVA PROJECT       ...
Immigration, diversity, media2010:• 49.7 million foreign born people resided in the EU27• 2/3s were born outside the EU27•...
Immigration, diversity, mediaThe media have a role to play in promoting thisdiversity and in fighting negative stereotypes...
What constitutes news when      migrants are concerned?1. Migration news is event driven.2. Migration news is a reaction o...
To become news a migration story has       to meet several criteria:1. It has to be spectacular!2. Migration news must be ...
Migration ‘good news is bad news              of course’Economic interests of the media & current politicalagenda in many ...
Migration ‘good news is bad news             of course’1. There is a disproportionate (to their actualfrequency of occurre...
Migration ‘good news is bad news              of course’News when immigrants are concerned can be anything that is shocki...
Migration ‘good news is bad news              of course’1. Immigration is as a security problem2.Immigration is also an ec...
Migration ‘good news is bad news              of course’Local populations blame migrants for taking theirjobs or for jeop...
Migration good news is very GOOD               news!The coverage of immigrants can be in two extremes:very negative, token...
Migration good news is very GOOD               news!While sincere advocacy of the wellbeing ofimmigrants and interest in i...
Perspective of CoverageThe perspective of the coverage is dependent onthe general line of a media outlet and the type ofne...
Migrant News out of the political               agenda.Topics include an impressive variety of mostly positive news about ...
ChallengesMigration news remains episodic Migration news becomes an issue for a while but is soonforgottenMigration new...
SOURCES OF INFORMATIONNews AgenciesThe news from a news agency might or might notbe given additional elaboration. If it ...
Problems with the sourcesReluctance/ inability to provide information on the part of migrantst and reluctance to reveal a...
ConclusionsoThe ethnic and cultural diversity of European societies is notproperly reflected in the European mass mediao W...
ConclusionsoMedia continues to represent immigrants negatively, whileinteresting subjects (migrants’ rights) occur much le...
ConclusionsThere are professionals who do an excellent job. But they are not themajority.The media are facing a historical...
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NEWSMAKING PRACTICES IN REFLECTING DIVERSITY AND PROMOTING MIGRANT INTEGRATION THE MEDIVA PROJECT

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Iryna Ulasiuk
Workshop “Media pluralism and diversity and Combating Hate Speech in Europe”,
EUI, 26-27 May 2012

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NEWSMAKING PRACTICES IN REFLECTING DIVERSITY AND PROMOTING MIGRANT INTEGRATION THE MEDIVA PROJECT

  1. 1. NEWSMAKING PRACTICES IN REFLECTING DIVERSITY AND PROMOTING MIGRANT INTEGRATION THE MEDIVA PROJECT Iryna Ulasiuk Workshop “Media pluralism and diversity and Combating Hate Speech in Europe”, EUI, 26-27 May 2012 ROBERT SCHUMAN CENTRE FOR ADVANCED STUDIES
  2. 2. Immigration, diversity, media2010:• 49.7 million foreign born people resided in the EU27• 2/3s were born outside the EU27• 1/3 was born in a MS other than MS of her/his residence.• the foreign born - nearly 10% of the total EU population (Eurostat data for 2010) ROBERT SCHUMAN CENTRE FOR ADVANCED STUDIES
  3. 3. Immigration, diversity, mediaThe media have a role to play in promoting thisdiversity and in fighting negative stereotypes.The media determine what will be news.The media do not just passively report the news.They select what is to be covered.The media directly dictate social and politicalattitudes, shape ideas, and incite actions. ROBERT SCHUMAN CENTRE FOR ADVANCED STUDIES
  4. 4. What constitutes news when migrants are concerned?1. Migration news is event driven.2. Migration news is a reaction on what is going on at the moment3. Migration news depends on what makes a story from the newsroom, on the extent to which this or that piece of news is found ‘meaningful’ by the editors: ‘If the editor-in-chief or the director see no interest to it, then it doesn’t “play”’. ROBERT SCHUMAN CENTRE FOR ADVANCED STUDIES
  5. 5. To become news a migration story has to meet several criteria:1. It has to be spectacular!2. Migration news must be interesting, important and of high visibility, challenging to people and sudden.3. It must be news that ‘touches’ the society, changes everyday life and impacts on the overall situation.4. Migration news has to attract public attention and it must sell well5. Migration news tends to objectify certain migrants who fit certain patterns and portray them through the eyes of a homogenised ‘national’ type ROBERT SCHUMAN CENTRE FOR ADVANCED STUDIES
  6. 6. Migration ‘good news is bad news of course’Economic interests of the media & current politicalagenda in many EU countries create a bias pushingthe migrant-related news toward sensationalism:News on immigrants is sometimes associated with criminal newsor it becomes news when something extraordinary happens…migrant related news is always only something sensational, both inpositive and negative terms, and not a normal phenomenoncharacteristic of our age. (int.64) ROBERT SCHUMAN CENTRE FOR ADVANCED STUDIES
  7. 7. Migration ‘good news is bad news of course’1. There is a disproportionate (to their actualfrequency of occurrence or actual importance forthe overall issue of migration and migrantintegration) coverage to events involving migrantsin episodes of crime, violence, conflict, scandal,scares.2. Immigrants are often perceived as a bad thing ROBERT SCHUMAN CENTRE FOR ADVANCED STUDIES
  8. 8. Migration ‘good news is bad news of course’News when immigrants are concerned can be anything that is shocking (int.7) anything that goes along the lines of ‘migrants areswamping the country’. (8) an unfair concurrence; migrants as destabilizers of the labor markers ofthe host countries: ‘More unemployed British peoplethan foreign-born’ ROBERT SCHUMAN CENTRE FOR ADVANCED STUDIES
  9. 9. Migration ‘good news is bad news of course’1. Immigration is as a security problem2.Immigration is also an economic problem3. Immigration is a health threat (e.g. foreigners areusing the health system for free, or Aids as adisease threat to public health brought byimmigrants)4. Immigration is ‘the conflict of cultures’ issue. ROBERT SCHUMAN CENTRE FOR ADVANCED STUDIES
  10. 10. Migration ‘good news is bad news of course’Local populations blame migrants for taking theirjobs or for jeopardizing their security and welfare.Many discussions are based on emotions andfalse perceptions about migrants that the mediaencourage by omitting their voice or the other sideof the story that is normally full of abuses,desperation, violent acts at the hand of the policeor criminal organisations. ROBERT SCHUMAN CENTRE FOR ADVANCED STUDIES
  11. 11. Migration good news is very GOOD news!The coverage of immigrants can be in two extremes:very negative, tokenistic, and it can be so positive thatit becomes unreal.Some journalists portray migrants only from a positiveperspective, and often uncritically, without reflecting“unofficial ordinary discourse” that is going on:“Any evidence of migrants’ inclusion and integration is touted, isprobably exaggerated or is celebrated, perhaps rightly so, butperhaps being exaggerated as well. You know, the first blackMajor, first child in third level.” (int.33) ROBERT SCHUMAN CENTRE FOR ADVANCED STUDIES
  12. 12. Migration good news is very GOOD news!While sincere advocacy of the wellbeing ofimmigrants and interest in immigrant lives withwhich media reply to alarmism are undoubtedlypositive in themselves caution should be taken notto simplify complex issues to the level of anecdotalevidence and not to use these positive instances asa distraction from pressing social issues.A balanced view point should be found! ROBERT SCHUMAN CENTRE FOR ADVANCED STUDIES
  13. 13. Perspective of CoverageThe perspective of the coverage is dependent onthe general line of a media outlet and the type ofnews at issue (int.8, 60, 67).If the general line of a media outlet is liberal, criticaltowards chauvinism and nationalism (int.19),oriented on objectivity of the information andavoids taking antagonistic stance (int.22), then themedia outlet adopts a positive, bridge-buildingapproach towards migrant issues and problems. ROBERT SCHUMAN CENTRE FOR ADVANCED STUDIES
  14. 14. Migrant News out of the political agenda.Topics include an impressive variety of mostly positive news about migrantssuch as:- personal issues (int. 20, 22), - human stories (e.g. a story of grantingcitizenship to a sportsman of migrant origin (int.16)), - stories on whateverpeople face in their new home country, how things are working out forthem in business terms (int.43); - stories showing how migrants havenaturalized and integrated into the host society (int.36), - stories onmigrants’ accessing social welfare and stories on how migrants are goingthrough the recession (int.41), - success stories of when immigrantfamilies have been re-united, stories that focus on the positivecontributions migrants make to society, - stories when the ‘mixing ofdifferent nations’ brings positive results (int. 60), - stories showing thehuman side of migration (e.g., showing how people are fleeing conflicts,i.e., the reasons behind the migration movement) (int.3) ROBERT SCHUMAN CENTRE FOR ADVANCED STUDIES
  15. 15. ChallengesMigration news remains episodic Migration news becomes an issue for a while but is soonforgottenMigration news tends to be sporadic rather than regular.The surges in coverage of migration news condition thepublic and policymakers to think of immigration as a suddenevent (crisis)Immigration topic must be covered in a more continuous,consistent and regular way. (e.g. RTE has committed itself toproducing a series of 6-8 programmes annually onmulticulturalism, including migration issue. (int.43) ) ROBERT SCHUMAN CENTRE FOR ADVANCED STUDIES
  16. 16. SOURCES OF INFORMATIONNews AgenciesThe news from a news agency might or might notbe given additional elaboration. If it is minor newsor a brief news update, the news provided by anews agency remains intactmigrants themselves, migrant communities,people informed about these groups orrepresenting them, migrant and civil societyassociations, NGOs, human rights/ refugeeorganizations ROBERT SCHUMAN CENTRE FOR ADVANCED STUDIES
  17. 17. Problems with the sourcesReluctance/ inability to provide information on the part of migrantst and reluctance to reveal any information on the part of the officialinstitutions (int. 21).The validity of what is said on both sides of the argument (int.52)Reluctance of migrants to talk, reluctance to talk on the record isdictated by the specificity of the immigration issue itself.Our problem is not migrants but the journalists themselves. They arenot properly informed and their minds are full of stereotypes andcliché and therefore, when they go to cover a theme they faceproblems. (int.51) ROBERT SCHUMAN CENTRE FOR ADVANCED STUDIES
  18. 18. ConclusionsoThe ethnic and cultural diversity of European societies is notproperly reflected in the European mass mediao While positive trends do exist, the issues of migration andintegration are incorporated in mass media news-product under thegeneral conceptualization of a ‘clash of civilisations’.o The media tend to highlight controversial and conflict aspects ofmigration rather than opt for well researched, investigative andsubstantial reports of the social contexts of the relevant newsoccurrences. The reasons : the lack of specialised knowledge on migrant issues, the limited time to collect information, etc. ROBERT SCHUMAN CENTRE FOR ADVANCED STUDIES
  19. 19. ConclusionsoMedia continues to represent immigrants negatively, whileinteresting subjects (migrants’ rights) occur much lessfrequentlyo Even when positive reporting does occur, it tends to bepresented as the ‘exception to the rule’ and reflectsprocesses of cultural assimilation with migrant individualsportrayed as successful and socially integrated if theircreativity and achievements can be framed within thedominant cultureoThe concern that migrant voices are not heard enoughremains.oMedia outlets do not cover immigration as a topiccontinuously. ROBERT SCHUMAN CENTRE FOR ADVANCED STUDIES
  20. 20. ConclusionsThere are professionals who do an excellent job. But they are not themajority.The media are facing a historical turning point: technological developmentsin media and free market competition lead to important structural changes:more democratisation of the information gathering process and moreparticipatory, citizen journalism. But: editorial budgets are cut down, thenumbers of professional journalists are being reduced while most mediaprofessionals are converted to part time freelance workers.There is little investment in training and/or recruitment let alone diversityawareness training.The polyphony of the grassroots sources is met by centralised decisionshowever as to what is ultimately published, where and when.. ROBERT SCHUMAN CENTRE FOR ADVANCED STUDIES
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