From Mediation to Mediatisation: the Migration Issue
The interaction between media and migrants is an integral part of the everyday social context at all levels of modern society, institutional and non-institutional alike. Such dynamism promotes a wide range of social changes and processes. These processes have recently come to be marked by a transition from mediation to mediatisation.
While mediation is simply a transfer or transmission of communication by the media, mediatisation involves the active impact of the media on communication in the social and cultural contexts within which this impact can be understood and interpreted. Mediatisation refers to the broader (meta)changes of the media and forms of communication, which in turn cause changes in daily life and in personal and collective identities, as well as in social relations and in society as a whole. Mediatisation is increasingly changing the relationship between the media and society.
In the context of the EU, the reporting on migrants tends to be depersonalised. This encourages generalisation, which in its turn reinforces stereotypes and fails to convey a realistic picture of the situation. Another problem identified is the lack of distinctly profiled individuals who could function as representatives of the migrant communities. Moreover, both media and journalists often neglect information coming from direct immigrant sources.
The result of this vicious circle is confirmed by the general opinion that migrants typically appear only in cases diverging from the standard, with a strong emphasis on sensational presentation. The integration of migrant communities largely depends on how much they are recognised, identified and found attractive at least by a part of the public.
Changes in the form and means of communication further change the forms of grouping and forms of social power. The changes in dealing with migrant issues become evident at three levels: in the media, in politics, and in everyday life.
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