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Fellows' Papers
Journalism & Democracy

Media and migrations

Gabriela Jacomella, an Italian journalist of several years’ experience at Corriere della Sera,  has written an extensive study on the media treatment of migrants in three European countries.  In her study, ‘Media and migrations: Press narrative and country politics in three European countries’, Gabriela first focuses on exploring a new methodology for evaluating the media coverage of migration.  She then applies this evaluation grid to the press coverage of the Rosarno riots in Italy which took place in January 2010.  She chooses four newspapers from her own country Italy, and the same number in Germany and the UK, the last two as examples of countries with a diverse and long-standing history of migration, as well as a substantially different media approach. Amongst her many fascinating conclusions is her obseravation that ‘every newspaper seems to fall prey, at various degrees, to the temptation of inflating news and portraying the sensationalistic, simplified version of the story. The readers are therefore presented with a coverage that kicks off with strong negative messages, and an identification of the “migrant issue” with disturbing concepts such as emergency, segregation, and cultural differences.’  A second relevant finding is that the voice of migrants is highly under-represented, regardless of the political orientation of the newspapers.  Gabriela is keen to explore the possibilities of her new methodology or codebook being used as the basis for a proper advocacy tool, or as a device to help media professionals to improve their coverage of migration issues. '