EISSN 2532-3474 - ISSN 2532-649X - Padova University Press

European Migration Crisis: on the Special Relationship between Media, Political Institutions and Public Opinion

TitleEuropean Migration Crisis: on the Special Relationship between Media, Political Institutions and Public Opinion
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsMansutti, S.
Secondary TitlePeace Human Rights Governance
Date Published03/2020
PublisherPadova University Press
Place PublishedPadova, IT
ISSN Number2532-3474
Keywordsframes, media, mediatisation of politics, Migration

Since 2011, dealing with migration has become a serious challenge for the EU and its Member States. As a matter of fact, migrants and refugees arriving in Europe from Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia have presented European leaders and policymakers with their greatest challenge since the debt crisis. Assuming the perspective of the ‘mediatisation of politics’, according to which today political institutions are considerably dependent on and shaped by mass media, I will argue that this is particularly relevant and true for the migration phenomenon. In particular, this article aims to present the relation of interdependence between the media, the general public and political institutions. To demonstrate this relation it is essential to understand that the hierarchization of specific issues, the choice of a certain lexicon, of a frame of narration – that is the schema of interpretation that the media give to the facts and political issues – and the decision to report or omit some data and information, may have consequences on the way events are perceived by the general public and on the responses that the society expects by political actors. For this purpose, the first section of the article will concentrate on the role that the media have in the construction of political reality, on the frames that characterize the representation of migration by the media and on their impact on the public attitude on immigration. In the second section, a case study on news reported on the Italian media will be presented in order to demonstrate the interdependence between the media, political institutions and the public opinion.