Media for Diversity and Migrant Integration

We and the Others. The Image of Immigration and Immigrants in Italian mass media.

TitleWe and the Others. The Image of Immigration and Immigrants in Italian mass media.
Publication TypeWeb Article
Original TitleNoi e gli altri. L'immagine dell'immigrazione e degli immigrati sui mass-media italiani.
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsCorte, M.
Place PublishedPadova
Type of WorkWeb article
1) Abstract

This study analysed the dispatches of Italian press agency ANSA during 1998-2002. Crime and illegality, and arrivals of illegal immigrants were the main themes for news about immigrants. Immigrants’voices were hardly heard in the press. At times they were criminalised and represented with negative aspects: bad housing and living conditions, attracted by criminality. The economic ‘value’ of immigrants is found in the representation of immigrants working in industry, agriculture, restaurant business and tourism. They were hardly ever represented as persons or citizens.

2.1) Publication LanguageItalian
2.2) Type & Structure

1. Introduction 2. Research object and methodology 3. Results 4. The image of the non-EC immigrant 5. Press, immigration intercultural education

2.3) Original Research or Not


3.1) Main Issues

Ansa presents as “immigration” all news items that have as main actors or subject people of foreign origin. The information was mostly about illegal immigrants, their illegal practices, found in short factual reports, without room for backgrounds and investigation Immigrants were not quoted. Their problems, their culture, their needs and demands were rarely covered. The cultural identity of immigrants was not considered, their economic value recognised only recently. Crisis coverage, the representation of immigration as a threat and problem to ‘us’ Italians prevailed. Examples of integration and dialogue were hardly mentioned. The juxtaposition of illegal immigration with crime and of Muslim faith with terrorism has replaced the old juxtaposition of immigration with crime.

3.2) Media

The dispatches of press agency Ansa are analysed with a sample of constructed weeks, from the summer of 1998 to summer 2002.

3.3) Media Genres

Press agency dispatches

3.4) Key Theories

Newsmaking: agency dispatches form an important basis for reporting by all media, and can thus be used as an important indicator of their contents. Infotainment, personalisation of news, daily newspapers follow the format of popular weeklies, whereby news is reduced the casual individual stories without in-depth investigation into backgrounds, causes, etc.

4.1) Relevance

Original research taking dispatches as an indicator of news contents. The percentage of reports directly based/reproducing dispatches texts is – at least in Italy - extremely high, one study claims it is around 70%. Not often researched, but relevant object, not to be ignored.

Keywordscontent, Italy
Tagsillegal immigration, images of immigrants, Italian news, press agency dispatches