Representations, mis-representations, stereotyping?Minorities in the media                             Dr Myria Georgiou  ...
ContextEuropean cultures are increasingly media cultures•National media compete with transnational and local media•Product...
Social theory and critiqueMedia reproducing hegemonic racial ideologiesMedia misrepresent social injustice and attribute p...
A Case Study:Minorities in the British PressMarginal in everyday news agenda and media imaginationbut visible in specific ...
Sample & Appraisal                             Headline appraisal:                   Broadsheets                          ...
The rule: Marginalityand Invisibility• Ethnic minorities receive proportionately very little  coverage in the British pres...
The exception (that confirms the rule)I: Terrorism•Terrorism as a thematic area is referred to more frequently in articles...
The exception (that confirms the rule) II:Immigration• Immigrants are the most important General group inheadlines (16%); ...
The exception (that confirms the rule)III: Crime•Violence & Crime is one of the most referred Thematic areas, when itcomes...
Islam and Muslims: The Ultimate Other•The case of Muslims is the most apparent in terms of a constructionof a homogenous, ...
Neutral coverage but with whatconsequences I?•Minority presence in the media tends to relate tonegative/problematic elemen...
Neutral coverage but with whatconsequences II?•    Confirmation of negative stereotypes in public    imagination• The high...
A framework for the study of media anddiversity I?• Specificity of media and cultural politics Not all  media play the sam...
A framework for the study of mediaand diversity II?Media production/consumption not divided along cultural lines aloneMedi...
Policy implications•Urgent necessity for the national press to actively seek toinclude ethnic minority voices in the news ...
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In Other Words Conference: Representations, mis-representations, stereotyping? Minorities in the media (by Dr Myria Georgiou, LSE)

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Read more about Tallinn Conference 'The Representation of Minorities in the Media', media monitoring, and the media representation of minorities at: www.inotherwords-project.eu. In Other W.O.R.D.S. - Web Observatory & Review for Discrimination alerts & Stereotypes deconstruction

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  • Reporting Asylum (2005) conducted by The Information Centre about Asylum and Refugees in the UK (ICAR),
  • Presentation: Our sample and three main themes dominating coverage, followed by a discussion on the category Muslims Media approach and consequences Policy implications
  • When looking at headlines, if we sum all the headlines given to these four categories there is remarkably little difference between the broadsheets and the tabloid in the proportion of the headlines relating to immigration given to each subcategory This suggests that there was a consensual news frame operating in shaping the salience of these different categories of reporting migrant populations. The greater focus upon illegal immigration in the tabloid press might be consistent with the political construction of illegal immigration as a major electoral issue, and the greater sensationalism of the tabloid press in pursuing the most contentious category. The way in which the headlines carry positive or negative connotations further underlines this distinction between the tabloid and broadsheet press.
  • POINT 1: Most often, the coverage of issues that relate to Muslim people makes indiscriminate reference to the actors and speakers as Muslim. This can have significant consequences for the public imagination and a growing suspicion towards a generic group represented as having little internal diversity. POINT 2: The extensive negative representations of Muslims could feed the already widespread Islamophobia in the UK.
  • Ethnic minorities tend to be racialised in the press; the concept of ‘ethnic minority/ies’ is very often used as a synonym for Black and Asian groups. In addition to the term getting a racial connotation, this also means that the other ethnic groups in the UK (many of them having tens of thousands of members) are either invisible or homogenised within the large, faceless and indiscriminate ‘immigrant’ agenda. Minority leaders appear sporadically in stories that relate to minorities. Though there is some significant attempt at times – especially in the broadsheets – to include the voices of minority leaders in their coverage, the fact that the overall presence of minorities in all news coverage is minimal, by definition, means that the visibility of minority leaders and minority role models is almost absent. Minority leaders and role models that appear in the press are almost always Black and (to a lesser extent) Asian: representatives from minorities outside the two numerically dominant groups are practically invisible. There is little coverage of the difference and particularity existing between and within minority groups. The press often ascribes homogenous and generic identities and makes assumptions about the existence of communities when it comes to minority populations or minority individuals.
  • In Other Words Conference: Representations, mis-representations, stereotyping? Minorities in the media (by Dr Myria Georgiou, LSE)

    1. 1. Representations, mis-representations, stereotyping?Minorities in the media Dr Myria Georgiou Dept of Media and Communications
    2. 2. ContextEuropean cultures are increasingly media cultures•National media compete with transnational and local media•Production and distribution of the media is only in part bounded within a single national territory•National policy only in part controls the production and distibution of the media•European homes are increasingly media-rich and media-savvy homesResearch from across Europe demonstrates that migrationand asylum are highly newsworthy for the media, especiallyfor the highest circulation press publications.Data from across Europe shows that for a large majority ofcitizens, knowledge about different cultural groups isprimarily mediated.
    3. 3. Social theory and critiqueMedia reproducing hegemonic racial ideologiesMedia misrepresent social injustice and attribute problems such as crime tothe behaviour of specific (ethnic) groups, rather than dealing with it as anoutcome of an economically dividing system (Hall, 1991; 1997)Media as terrain of power strugglesMedia culture is complex and involves power struggles both on theproduction and the consumption level(Gillespie, 1995; Downing andHusband, 2005)Media representations are plural and oppositional‘there is another position, one which locates itself inside a continuousstruggle and politics around black representation, but which then is able toopen up a continuous critical discourse about themes, about the forms ofrepresentation, the subjects of representation, above all, the regimes ofrepresentation’ (Hall, 1996: 448).
    4. 4. A Case Study:Minorities in the British PressMarginal in everyday news agenda and media imaginationbut visible in specific thematic areasTerrorism, immigration and crime: the axis of minorityvisibility in the pressAmbiguous and neutral in coverage – negative inconsequences?Big indistinguishable categories of Otherness(es)
    5. 5. Sample & Appraisal Headline appraisal: Broadsheets Tabloids The Telegraph The Sun Right 86 headlines 34 headlines wing 35% pos. vs. 34% neg. 18% pos. Vs. 68% neg. 21% no appraisal 6% no appraisal The Guardian The Mirror Left 64 headlines 23 headlines wing 41% pos vs. 16% neg. 22% pos. vs. 57% neg. 33% no appraisal 9% no appraisal Total sample: 207 headlines with minority content 32% pos. Vs. 36% neg. 21% no appraisal ; 11% Other appraisal (not included in the table)
    6. 6. The rule: Marginalityand Invisibility• Ethnic minorities receive proportionately very little coverage in the British press (7.6% of the articles coded have minority content)• There is consistency in the scale of (low) coverage throughout the pages of the national newspapers, and this goes across both left and right, tabloid and broadsheet newspapers.
    7. 7. The exception (that confirms the rule)I: Terrorism•Terrorism as a thematic area is referred to more frequently in articleswith minority content (10%), than in articles without minority content(0.2%), thus linking minorities with terrorism. In this case, terrorism is more likely to be referred to in the tabloids (18%) than in the broadsheets (7%).•In articles with minority content, terrorism (10%) is one of themost referred to thematic areas [others: politics (19%) sport(10%), violence and crime (8%), war (8%), and immigration(8%)]. Terrorism with minorities as (presumed) threat or perpetratorsemerges as the major issue in headlines referring to a specificminority issue. •Tabloids (23%); the broadsheets (15%). •69% of headline appraisal is explicitly negative (69%) - There are, however, distinct differences between broadsheets: 55% explicitly negative; tabloids 93% explicitly negative
    8. 8. The exception (that confirms the rule) II:Immigration• Immigrants are the most important General group inheadlines (16%); only religious minorities receive highercoverage (34%).•It’s about the topic, not the people • As a rule, items dealing with immigration are not related to any specific group (immigrants 81%, temporary immigrants 53%, illegal immigrants 75% and refugees and asylum seekers 50%).•Concentration of Immigrants as actors to a small number oftopics • Minority issues of Immigration (26%) • Effect of immigration on majority ethnic jobs and wages (15%) • Effect of immigration on the social and economic situation (13%).
    9. 9. The exception (that confirms the rule)III: Crime•Violence & Crime is one of the most referred Thematic areas, when itcomes to minority content • 8% of coverage (with only Politics (19%), Terrorism (10%), Sports (10%), and War (9%) taking higher percentages) • It is one of the Thematic areas most referred to in Tabloids than in Broadsheets: (15% vs. 6%)•The minority issue of Violence & Crime with minorities as (presumed)threat or perpetrators is in three-quarters of the headlines referred tonegatively (75%) • In Broadsheets (7 out of 12), more than half of the headlines give negative appraisal (57%), while in Tabloids (5 out of 12) all headlines have negative appraisal.•There are connections between crime and the other two major themes thatdominate minority issues, i.e. immigration and terrorism. • E.g. 24% of references to Muslims name them as ‘crime suspects’.
    10. 10. Islam and Muslims: The Ultimate Other•The case of Muslims is the most apparent in terms of a constructionof a homogenous, generic ‘community’; also Muslims appear as theonly visible religious group • Muslims are by far the most referred group based on religion (in 27% of headlines) followed by 4% for Christians, 4% for Buddhists and 3% for Jews.•Muslims’ extensive coverage in the press relates in more than 50%of entries to violence, terrorism and crime.•Muslims are overwhelmingly affiliated with Terrorist organisations(56%), and in almost one-third of the cases are Islamist terrorists(30%) or Crime suspects (24%).•Speakers with a Muslim background are in 56% of the cases relatedto a terrorist organisation but are only in 3% of the cases related toan official church or religious organisation.
    11. 11. Neutral coverage but with whatconsequences I?•Minority presence in the media tends to relate tonegative/problematic elements of the news agenda• A neutral media approach to stories where minorities areless powerful/institutional confirms minorities’ marginality•Minorities are often addressed as indistinguishable groupswithout internal diversity•Ethnic minority becomes a racialised category byassumption•Minority leadership and positive minority role models almostvoiceless – the Black exception
    12. 12. Neutral coverage but with whatconsequences II?• Confirmation of negative stereotypes in public imagination• The high levels of negative appraisal in popular press feed popular fears and strengthen social divides along ethnicity/religion lines• Little information in public sphere about complexities of minority cultures and politics sustains cultural boundaries• Lack of positive representations sustains a sense of marginality and negative self-identification among minorities themselves• Press: Power without Responsibility?
    13. 13. A framework for the study of media anddiversity I?• Specificity of media and cultural politics Not all media play the same political role at all times• Dialectics between the particular and the universal, the majority and the minority. Difference both as a boundary and a separator, as well as a point of meeting and potential dialogue; to investigate how tensions and ‘incommunicability’ between different groups named minorities and majorities are NOT stable and natural, but the outcome of the representations of different media cultures themselves as closed, competitive and incompatible systems.
    14. 14. A framework for the study of mediaand diversity II?Media production/consumption not divided along cultural lines aloneMedia literacy, savvy audiences, diversified and niche marketsFreedom of speech: A new element to consider?(i.) does/shall freedom of peace apply to projects that challenge the European political traditions and norms? (iii.) does/shall freedom of peace apply to individuals and groups suppressing diversity and culture within the communities they allegedly represent?
    15. 15. Policy implications•Urgent necessity for the national press to actively seek toinclude ethnic minority voices in the news stories•The recruitment of ethnic minority staff needs to be furtheradvanced, especially on editorial level•The creation and promotion of forums where mediaprofessionals and the civil society can advance dialogue andtrust are urgently needed•Media literacy is a key issue that needs further attention by allstakeholders – this requires contextualisation of stories andhumanisation of actors (minorities), as well asacknowledgement of the diversity of cultural and mediaspaces for representation.

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