Migration and multiculturalism

Migration and multiculturalism

Iows has contributed to put cultural and ethnic minorities present in Italy in the spotlight.

Cultural diversity has been often portrayed in a positive manner and in a way “normalised”. However, the media discourse is sometimes inclined to frame diversity in a stereotyped manners or, even worse, to endorse discrimination and offensive speech targeting minorities, thus contributing to a climate of public fear and closeness.

Education and culture play a key role in shaping critical spirit and openness of mind, particularly among the youth. Therefore, the Osservatorio has launched a number of projects targeting both young people and adults and aimed at raising awareness on this theme.

The projects

Mediated Africa

The project aims to define the criteria that guide the choice of the agenda (not) to cover Africa and to highlight the cases of correct and accurate information. The health emergency caused by COVID-19 has made clear the global dimension of the epidemic and its effects. It is precisely during these phases that issues and countries “on the margins” of information risk being further forgotten, with the risk of encouraging the persistence of closure policies and discrimination practices. It is therefore proposed to analyse the characteristics of information by adopting two points of view: one European (to understand if the growing marginalisation of the African context is unique to Italy) and the other, that of childhood (often absent in public debate during the phase of health emergency).

The representation of migration phenomena in the media

Since 2015, the Osservatorio di Pavia has been collaborating with the Carta di Roma Association for the creation of an annual report on the media representation of migration. Through data and case studies, the main trends of a year in which immigration has been at the centre of institutional and political debate are traced: from the constant internal and international confrontation on the management of migration flows to the wave of populism across Europe using xenophobic arguments and hate speech; from a revitalised public treatment of racism to an increased awareness of the role of social media in the dissemination of information on sensitive issues such as immigration.

Illuminating the outskirts. The window on the world: news from abroad

The Italian news (specifically the television news) is often accused of provincialism and is characterised by a report of proximity. The first objective of the research is to “measure” the space and the ways in which the news “looks out” of the country. The space dedicated to foreign countries often ends up focusing on theconjuncturalevents that, once the emergency is over, tend to disappear from the information. For this reason, the second objective of the research is to compile a check list of good and bad practises with respect to the narration of the contexts, countries, and themes of the international arena. The analysis is completed with a comparison between the main European networks that highlights similarities and differences in the narration of the “world around us” and the global challenges associated with it.

Forgotten crises

Humanitarian crises are inexorably disappearing from the Italian news, despite the desire of the public to be more informed. The daily struggle for the survival of entire populations in countries such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Sudan, and Mali is relegated to oblivion. In collaboration with the Osservatorio di Pavia, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) studies “Humanitarian crises forgotten by the media”. The investigation examines the coverage of humanitarian crises in the main news (prime time) of generalist television (3 public and 4 private televisions).