News Media and Immigration in the EU: Where and How the Local Dimension Matters

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In this chapter we will analyze empirical data from the media section of the Concordia Discors project within a comparative European framework to examine the role of the local dimension in media representations of immigrants and ethnic minorities. This allows us to investigate the impact of a series of variables implied in the media making of symbolic boundaries – a process involving localities at different scales, groups of residents, non-residents, local organizations and city administrators – and raises questions about the power of neighbourhoods in determining or countering media narratives and the labelling power of the media. What emerges from our analysis is that neighbourhoods with their own shared sense of a vital narrative are better able to control and frame news referring to them and to forestall any process of moral panic fostered by the actions of moral entrepreneurs. We argue that the neighbourhood policy community can play a crucial role in structuring media representations, and that this role is typically under-investigated by scholars of media and journalism studies. The ability to maintain control of media narratives by downplaying an “intercultural conflict frame” does not necessarily mean enhanced visibility for immigrants and minority groups. To this respect, we argue against the typical claim that a more balanced (less negative) representation of immigrants and ethnic minorities necessarily follows from involving these actors in the production of news.




Pogliano, A. (2016). News Media and Immigration in the EU: Where and How the Local Dimension Matters. In IMISCOE Research Series (pp. 151–176). Springer Science and Business Media B.V.

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