Fourth edition of the report “Illuminating the outskirts – Abroad Observatory”

- Migration and multiculturalism
Fourth edition of the report “Illuminating the outskirts – Abroad Observatory”

In 2021, the attention to foreign countries in the Italian news grew to 29% of the total news about the world. This is the highest figure recorded in the last decade. Almost 1 in 3 news is dedicated to foreign countries, considering both foreign policy news and soft news that originates in third countries.

The increase, according to the experts of the Osservatorio di Pavia, curators and promoters of the report together with COSPE, FNSI, Usigrai, and AICS, was influenced both by contingent factors such as the global pandemic and by structural factors that have changed the international agenda, including, for example, climate change.

Some issues, such as wars and conflicts, are discussed more in reference to the Asian continent (22%), especially in reference to the Afghan crisis of August 2021, while for terrorism and immigration, it is the African continent that is more correlated than other geographical areas.

In 2021, the seven Italian prime-time news programmes dedicated only five news items to Yemen. The 9 countries of sub-Saharan Africa defined as priorities for Italian Cooperation (Burkina Faso, Senegal, Niger, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, and Mozambique) have collected only 42 pieces of news.

Foreign coverage remains focused on a few countries: the top 10 in the visibility ranking count for over 70% of the total coverage of foreign countries; among these 10, there is not even an African country, and only Afghanistan among low-income countries.

It confirms the Eurocentrism of television news that collects half of foreign news (49%), while Asia (25%) exceeds North America (18%) only because of the events in Afghanistan. Africa, with 4.4%, and Latin America, with 2.4%, are instead marginalised and obscured by Italian news. 

Download the full report here