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Così è (se vi pare): Talking Migration to Italians


The importance of the portrayal of reality in the press is well recognised, especially with respect to its capacity to affect public opinion. Articles on migration found in the Italian press with respect to four periods – the 2014 European Parliament elections; the end of the Mare Nostrum operation in the Mediterranean in 2014; the EU-Turkey Statement of March 2016; and an eventless week in 2016 – revealed five main narratives: solidarity, responsibility, state-centred (Westphalian), instrumental and humanitarian. Each of them had its own specificities, while all were informed by Italy’s condition as a frontline state with regard to migration – the EU’s gatekeeper – and its paradoxical state of living in a ‘permanent/potential emergency’, constantly torn by its inability to reconcile security and humanitarian needs. An understanding of justice as non-domination was the main result of the analysis carried out, while there was little reference to migrants’ human rights.
Keywords: migration, Italy, political justice, media, narratives