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Journalists’ roles and the Ultra-Right: The case of Italy

  • 20 November 2020
  • 1pm-2pm
  • Online

About this event

A talk delivered by Professor Cinzia Padovani as part of the Centre for Research in Communication and Culture (CRCC) seminar series.

In many parts of the world, journalists tend to see themselves as playing an important role for democracy. But what happens when they are faced with the question of whether to report, and how to report, on ultra-right, anti-democratic actors? The dilemma is evident: whereas on one side, journalists are supposed to report on what is relevant, on the other, by reporting on it, they risk amplifying its significance, giving attention to actors who, if successful, could disrupt democracies. The leads us to question the roles that journalists play when they find themselves in these predicaments.

In this presentation, Professor Cinzia Padovani develops a typology of journalist positions and applies this typology to a case study of journalist roles vis à vis the ultra-right in Italy. The empirical contribution, based upon data from semi-structured interviews with 23 professionals, highlights the emergence of various roles: from the ‘monitorial’, to the ‘public journalist’, to the ‘derisive’ role.

The study opens up an original arena of inquiry beyond the Italian case. Given the rise of the ultra-right in various contexts, the research will be of interest to academics and journalists alike, since the topic of when and how to cover ultra-right actors is a pressing, practical problem.

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