Migrants and media newsmaking practices
Title: Migrants and media newsmaking practices
Citation: Journalism Practice, 2013, Vol. 7, No. 3, pp. 266-281
European societies are becoming increasingly multicultural and ethnically diverse as a result of immigration. This change, however, is not properly reflected in the European mass media, neither in the portrayal nor in the representation of immigrants in the mainstream media. The aim of this paper is to analyse the newsmaking routines of mainstream newspapers and TV channels in six European countries (Greece, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland and the United Kingdom) with a view to showing which factors mostly influence these routines. We analyse the impact of three factors on the making of migration-related news: (1) the news value of such news; (2) the role of newsmaking routines and in particular who selects what is published and why; and (3) the availability of alternative sources and the journalists' trust of different types of news sources. Our study shows that while migrant media follow the general rule that something negative has a higher news value, they are also bound up with additional challenges—notably that media do not cover migration as a topic regularly, that media outlets have a given “line” of coverage concerning migration and this contributes to shaping what kind of news are reported. Third, journalists are not always well networked with migrant sources to have access to them. While the rule of thumb “you have to talk to people who are directly involved” holds, not all journalists devote the necessary energy and time to present a balanced coverage of migration-related issues.
Appeared in I-first on 20 November 2012.
Type of Access: openAccess
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