Media-Political Parallelism: Legitimization of Migration Policy in Editorials in the Daily Newspaper “Delo”
The article starts with the thesis that metaprocesses of mediatisation define the operation of the media to the degree that “media logic” follows political agendas. We verify the thesis based on a qualitative analysis of journalistic commentary (editorials) that were published in the Slovenian daily newspaper Delo (August–December 2015) on the topic of European migration policy (quota system, Schengen regime, bilateral agreements etc.). The analysis shows that migration policy is legitimized by commentary that omits the views of non-governmental sources and is largely based on Eurocentric imaginings of Europe.
KEY WORDS: migration policy, Schengen, quota system, Europe, journalistic commentary
The article analyses the functioning of “media logic” using the example of editorials which address the topic of migration with regard to the so-called (ongoing) “refugee crisis”. We start from the thesis that meta-processes of mediatisation define the operation of the media to the degree that “media logic” follows political agendas. The media logic is analysed as a set of principles that defines the topic of media debate, the selection of journalistic sources and the types of narration in their relation to the “political logic”. We verify the thesis based on a qualitative analysis of journalistic commentary (editorials) that were published in the Slovenian daily newspaper Delo in the period from early August to the end of December 2015 on the topic of European migration policy (quota system, Schengen regime, bilateral agreements, visa regulations etc.). The analysis is based on 97 editorials and it applies critical discourse analysis in combination with strategic framing analysis as a method.
We show that these articles most often refer to various mechanisms of migration policy which adopt a “realist” political view, in the absence of a more informed analysis that would increase reader’s understanding of policies. The media-political parallelism, i.e. the fusion of the media with the political agenda, is also shown in the omission of the views of non-governmental sources. The legitimization of European migration policy is largely based on narratives about Europe/the European Union that reflect Eurocentric views. Refugees are represented as the culprits for the collapse of Europe, and as those endangering the values of Europe; also common are representations about eastern Europeans as “other Europeans” and of Turkey (reflecting the political “trading” of refugees between the EU and Turkey) as uncivilised – which is then used to legitimize strict migration regimes.