Media for Diversity and Migrant Integration

Media, Immigration and the Days of Fear. Monitoring Coverage as an Instrument to Defend Immigrants' Rights

TitleMedia, Immigration and the Days of Fear. Monitoring Coverage as an Instrument to Defend Immigrants' Rights
Publication TypeConference Paper
Original TitleI media, l'immigrazione e i giorni della paura. Il monitoraggio delle notizie come strumento per la difesa dei diritti
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsBerretta, P., G. Betto, M. Binotto, M. Belluati, and G. Luciano
Conference NameInternational Journalism Festival
Date Published04/2011
1) Abstract

The presentations in this panel discuss, among other things, the role of crime news in Italian media. This is based on research carried out by the Observatory of the Carta di Roma, placed at the University of Rome La Sapienza (Marco Binotto) and studies about media and security by the Observartory of Pavia (Paola Berretta). The main result is that media in Italy have been distortive and have contributed to a distorted perception of immigration and immigrants, and that media were instrumentally used by politics in particular during election periods. Immigration and crime news (as well as 'soft news') were used to take away attention from other pressing issues such as the economy or more serious news such as foreign affairs. Opinion surveys show that while immigration and crime are not at all among the top preoccupations of the public, the public perception of insecurity was correlated with the amount of media coverage about crime.

2.1) Publication LanguageItalian
2.2) Type & Structure

Panel Interventions by Gianni Betto, Paola Beretta, Marinella Belluati (un. Turin), Marco Binotto. Gianluca Luciano (fondatore Stranieri in Italia - Information for immigrants)

2.3) Original Research or Not


3.1) Main Issues

Binotti argues that for many years, the media representations of immigration have been the same: they focus on emergencies, arrivals, and crime. There is no impartiality in crime reports involving immigrants (i.e. they are not interviewed as Italian suspects are). Immigrants are not seen as human beings in the majority of reports. E.g. also judicial reports involving immigrants are covered less, than for Italian crime suspects. With the coverage about the Rosarno uprising in 2010, studied by Binotto and his team, something has changed, as now immigrants themselves have mobilised.
The study by the Pavia Observatory shows many interesting figures, also in comparison with media in other EU countries that were included in their study (see also separate entry).
There was no correlation between the real amount of crime during the period analysed, and the amount of crime news in tv news. There was a correlation between the news about crime and the perception of insecurity.

3.2) Media

TV (Pavia Obs.), press (oss. Carta di Roma),

3.3) Media Genres


3.4) Key Theories

quantitative content analysis

4.1) Relevance

showing specific situation of Italian media, but also interesting because of the links to public opinion that are made in part of the research presented. The normal everyday aspects of immigrants' life in Italy are hardly represented by mainstream media in Italy; alternative channels appear as a way out.

Keywordscontent, Italy, representation
Tagsimmigration, politics of fear