The media coverage of the “refugee crisis” under discussion at the Permanent Seminar on Communication and Diversity

Vanessa Marcondes, post-doctoral researcher at CECS (Centre for Studies in Communication and Society) was the guest speaker at the latest Permanent Seminar on Communication and Diversity, which was held on the afternoon of June 13, at the ICS of UMinho. Her intervention focused on a study concerning The “others” in Público: Representations of the “refugee crisis”. The session was commented by Mariana Reis Barbosa, a professor at the Catholic University of Porto and a member of the executive committee of PAR – Platform for Support to Refugees. Vanessa Ribeiro Rodrigues, journalist, documentary director, researcher and lecturer at the Lusophone University of Porto was the moderator of the session.

The study presented raised issues surrounding the visibility and silencing of refugees in the area of news treatment. What is said, by whom it is said and what is left in media obscurity were aspects highlighted by Vanessa Marcondes’ research and brought to the debate through the experience in the field, in Greece, of Mariana Reis Barbosa. Vanessa Rodrigues also reported on some of the aspects related to the journalistic culture and the current situation, which contribute to certain visibility regimes with regard to refugees.

It was a highly attended and well discussed session, with viewpoints that crossed academic research with the gaze of organized civil society and of journalism. One of the main conclusions of this seminar, the last of the school year, was that the themes around refugees suffer from “a not visible visibility” in terms of media coverage, contributing to the lack of understanding of the issue and its (de)contextualization.

Carla Cerqueira