Framing the (I)migrant

Framing the (I)migrant

The case of Romanian migrants images in Romanian media

Valentina Marinescu

(Faculty of Sociology and Social Work-University of Bucharest, e-mail adresss: valentina.marinescu@yahoo.com)

 

Abstract

The paper the analyses of the ways in which Romanian migrant identities are re-constructed through communication at transnational and national levels. As the starting point we took the recent debate about Romanian immigration in Italy (November 2007) and the issue of “national” identity it encompass. The events that took place in Italy had leaded the Romanian media to adopt a new editorial policy. In this way, some newspapers and audiovisual stations had started to daily present events located in the major Romanian communities of migrants spread all over European Union.

As the research hypothesis we propose the following ones :

1. The type of key elements which constitutes the stereotypical media representations of Romanian migrants will not vary among various Romanian printed media along four domain of interest: education, occupation, religion, and ethnicity.

2. The typology of reporting about Romanian migrants in the case of Romanian newspapers will highlight their negative and marginal actions within the emigrant country (and will minimize their social and civic involvements).

The research universe will comprise sample made from two national newspapers that has thematic sections devoted to “diasporic Romanian communities” from Europe. The sample was composed of articles published on the topic of the Romanian work force migration in the countries of the European Union in the intervals January 29- February 23 and April 6-22 in four main Romanian newspapers: Cotidianul, Adevărul, Jurnalul Naţional and Evenimentul Zilei. Both the qualitative and the quantitative research methods will be adopted in analyzing the empirical set of data. On the basis of „methods’ triangulation” principle and for validity reasons, the main methods of data collection will be: the quantitative content analysis, and the discourse analysis.

 

Keywords: mass media, migrant communities, reconstruction of social identity.

 

The purpose of the present article is to offer a few spots concerning the impact generated by the phenomenon of the Romanian communities going abroad for work, on the Romanian media (as part of the local media public space).

The research question to which I tried to find an answer was: “Is there any influence exerted by the phenomenon of the diasporal public on the media agenda and journalistic practices?”  

Elements of the theoretical frame

I have chosen as starting point in the present article, the general theory of  “the media framing” of a certain subject, topic or issue. Gamson (1989: 157) defines frame as: „…a central organizing idea for making sense of relevant events and suggesting what is at issue’’

It is generally considered that the frames are used in mass media because they have the capacity to highlight certain elements and perspectives, increasing thus the chances for certain interpretation schemes to be selected and evoked from among many others. As Sieff emphasizes (2003) the repetitive character by which the frames are presented to the public shapes in time the way in which a certain topic or subject is perceived. In other words, the more frequently a certain topic is framed in a certain approach, the more probable for people, and the public in a larger meaning to adopt that perspective on the matter.

In the present case, I have chosen from the diversity of the perspectives on “framing” Entman’s classic model (2004) – the so called “cascade model of frames” – since I have considered that this one has as main advantage the fact that he accounts for a diversity of framings (of the elites, the mass media or the public) and for the existence of a necessary feed-back among them (and which serves as a basis for the evolution of a problem framing in time).

According to the literature of this study area we can talk about a variety of the typologies for different types of framing. Among these, we will only mention the following ones:

1. The distinction between episodic and contextual framing (Iyengar, 1991): “Episodic framings” tend to concentrate on the individual, emphasizing the individual explanations whereas “the thematic framings” are interested not only by the individual level but also by aspects connected to the general social level and implicitly by social explanations. Sotirovic (2003) describes the individual explanations as being those which concentrate on the involved actors’ personality, moods or motivational contexts, whereas the social explanations are those which highlight the situational forces and the circumstances of a process or event.

2. The distinction between the macro and the micro level to which the framing applies (Scheufele, 1999). As a macro construct the term of framing refers to the procedures used by journalists and other communicators to present the information in a manner which should match the fundamental schemes used by their audiences (Shoemaker, Reese, 1996). For journalists, framing doesn’t mean trying to distort news but trying to reduce the complexity level of a certain topic, if we consider the restrictions related to the organizational routine in a media institution (Gans, 1979). In other words, “frames” become a precious tool for presenting relatively complex topics in an efficient and accessible manner for a profane audience, because they use the cognitive schemes the audience already possesses. As a micro-construct, framing describes the way in which people use the information and characteristics connected to the presentation of certain information referring to some issues and topics at the very moment they form the impressions related to these (topics and issues). 

 

Methodological elements

 

Strictly speaking, the analyses dedicated to media frame, identified the following steps involved in the framing research (Semetko, Valkenburg 2000): 

1. First, we identify a problem or an event (Entman 2004, pp. 23–24). A frame in communication can be defined only in relation to a certain event, a certain issue or a certain political actor.

2. Secondly, if the purpose is understanding the way in which the frames from the message influence the public opinion, then the research should concentrate on a specific attitude – for example, the attitude towards the issue “X”. (Feldman, Zaller 1992; Iyengar 1991).

3. Thirdly, we identify inductively an initial multitude of “frames”/ “framing” for a topic or an issue. Gamson and Modigliani (1987: 144; 1989: 7) suggest even the analysis of the frames produced by different actors and elite organizations related to the topic of interest in order to make a “list” of “existing cultural frames at a certain moment” in the elite’s discourse. 

4. Finally, once an initial multitude of frames was delimited, we choose the sources for the content analysis (Tankard 2001:. 101; Dimitrova et al. 2005; Nisbet et al. 2003: 48) and this one is performed for delimiting and studying these frames.

Taking into account the “exploring” character of the present study I have chosen a different path, based on the methodological “triangulation”. I used the following main research methods:

A. The methodology used by van Dijk (van Dijk, Kintsch, 1983) for identifying the characteristics of the macro-structures present at the level of the texts which contained information about the Romanian migrants from the European Union. More precisely, I started my analysis from van Dijk’s hypothesis (1988:228) according to which the tendentious and “full of stereotypes” character of a title is especially applicable to all information and discourses which presuppose social and political attitudes, variable and contradictory. At this level of the analysis, I have worked strictly on samples containing the titles of the articles published in the Romanian press and referring to that topic.

In our option, I took account of the fundamental characteristics of the news titles, as they were presented in T. van Dijk’s analysis of the racism reconstruction in the Dutch press (van Dijk, Kintsch, 1983):

1. The titles and the subtitles sum up the content of the text in an expression or sentence – starting here, they are considered to be the main form of the macro-structure of the text (or the majority of the most important information in a text).

2. Schematically and at a semantic and organizational level, the title represents the identifying “label” for all news.

3. Because the title is on top of the macro-structure hierarchy, it will generally express the information which is best remembered by the readers.

4. The main position attributed to the title also signals which information is probably the most important in the models which the media constructs in relation to a certain situation. 

5. Due to the fact that the situation models, as they are transmitted by the news producer (or journalist) are necessarily subjective, defining such situation as the one expressed by the title should also be subjective or at least should have a certain tendency.

B. The methodology proposed by J. P. Gee (1999: 133-134) for identifying the articulation modalities of the social differences in interviews. I have considered that we can talk of two main mechanisms used in framing the material: 1. Expressing the causality-situation in which we have chosen to analyse the use of the syntagms designating the causal relationships: “therefore”, “so that”, “given that”, “hence”, “because”, “on account of”, “whereas”, “consequently”, “so as to”. 2. The reconstruction of the social identities by framing the subordinating discourses, which is commonly known as “quoting the sources” – this time I have analyzed the use of the syntagms in the constructions: state/ to state, statement, presuppose/ to presuppose, to say/ say”.

C. The method of analyzing the press articles developed at Loughborough University by D. Deacon and P. Golding. The main characteristics which determined us to choose it, were the clarity of the results and their utility in a research project.

The method design is a simple one and it contains an iterative procedure as follows (Deacon, Golding, 1999: 174-183):

1. The stage of “the formal structure of the article text”. This is a stage which involves the analysis of the position, the composition and the intertextual relations of a media text from a newspaper. In this case, there are three important elements:

a. The text positioning in the economy of the newspaper page – this means the fact that the analyzed article is located according to other articles. Where is the article placed in the entire newspaper and where is it placed on the page? What is the significance of such positioning from a journalistic point of view? What are the direct and indirect significancies of such positioning?  

b. The internal structure of the article – this one includes the composition, the design and the style. How is the article arranged on the newspaper page? What are the main characteristics of its “nuclei”? What are the relationships between the title, the subtitle and the summary? What are the differences and similarities of this composition as compared to that of other articles on the same page?

c. The intertextual relationships – these are the relationships between the article and different types of discourse published in the same edition of the newspaper (such as the editorial or the advertisements). Is there any connection between the main subject or topic of the article and the subjects and topics of other articles? What are the main characteristics of such relationships? What is the intertextual basis of such relationships? Is it possible for a multitude of attitudes and values to be derived from these intertextual relationships? And if so, then what is the way in which these are performed from the point of view of the syntactic composition, the idiom and the general tone of the article?

2. The stage of the “thematic structure” of the article – the starting point in this case is the “pyramid” of news and on this basis the key enunciations in the text are identified. What are the elements which transform a text into an unitary enunciation (namely a logical sequence with a beginning, a content and an end)? What are the specific lexical relationships between the narration parts? What is the contribution of each part of the text (events, quotations) to the logical coordination of the structure of the text?

3. The stage of “the discourse analysis” – in this case, the textual structure of the article is analyzed according to the following directions:

a. The structure of the discursive schemes – in this stage the text is decomposed in subtexts of the journalistic sources (journalist X, actor Y, institution A) and the entire material is reordered taking into account the importance of each source. Afterwards, the modalities in which the order of the sources is connected to the fundamental thematic structure of the article are highlighted.

b. The quality and quantity of the source – the sources included in the article are divided into pro and against the issues/ topics tackled by the article and they are appreciated from a qualitative point of view.

c. Identifying the procedures of framing – this involves the reciprocal analysis of the sources: How are the sources used to maintain or to change the topic of the article?

4. The analysis stage for the way in which the choice of a certain given vocabulary supported the thematic structure of the article as a whole. The purpose of this stage is to demonstrate the way in which different words from a text support the general semantics of the narrative.

5. The stage of the analysis of discursive “macro” schemes vs. “micro” ones – in this case the macro-structures of the text are analyzed as parts of the discourse schemes (title, parts of the article).

The sample studied in the present case and which allowed to apply the methodological triangulation previously mentioned was composed of articles published on the topic of the Romanian work force migration in the countries of the European Union in the intervals January 29- February 23[1] and April 6-22[2] in four main newspapers: Cotidianul, Adevărul, Jurnalul Naţional and Evenimentul Zilei. We haven’t used any sampling procedure for the media materials, so that we could analyze all the articles published in the respective period. Our interest was identifying the major differences in the framing manners of the articles for the two distinct periods in a real context: a period with a certain degree of “exceptional” (January – February 2009) and a period which I have characterized as “normal” at an event level. (April 2009).

 

Data analysis

 

The analysis of the article titles “framing”

 

As a starting point, we have to mention that the total number of the articles included in the studied sample was 155. In fact there were two distinct sub-samples of articles: a sub-sample of 65 articles for the period January – February and 90 articles for the period April 2009.

If the two considered periods are analyzed first from a quantitative[3] point of view we can signal the existence of a vocabulary obviously centered on certain key words from the period of media covering of the negative event (January – February 2009 – according to Image 1 below), as opposed to the period April 2009 in which the number of repetitions of certain terms / words was smaller (according to the Image 2 below). According to the existing data, the terms mostly used in both periods are those belonging to the word families Romanian (a total of 794 appearances in January – February and 510 in April) and Italian (a total of 582 appearances in January – February and 220 in April). However, in the case of the first period (January – February 2009) in the published articles was used repetitively a bigger number of words such as Gypsy/ Gypsies/ Gypsies’ (122 appearances), “the minister” (73), “rape/ the rape” (67) “work” (55), “foreign affairs” (48), “declared” (46), “press” (39). Compared to these ones, for the articles published in April 2009 a single word (“authorities”) was used repetitively, exceeding 30 mentions out of the total of the analyzed sample.

 

 

 

Image 1 – The frequency of the words used in the writing of the articles – January-February 2009

Image 2- The frequency of the words used in writing the articles – April 2009

The existence of a difference in marking out certain key-words and favoring their use for a certain period cannot lead us to a general conclusion referring to the ways in which the journalists reconstructed the information about the Romanian work force migration in the European Union. Nevertheless, the results previously mentioned raise a question: What are the macro-structures favored by the articles from the Romanian newspapers referring to this research topic?

Applying van Dijk’s methodological procedure on the titles of the articles published not only in the period January – February 2009 but also in April 2009, we can notice that the difference between the two periods is maintained in the case of the vocabulary used for the total of the considered articles.

Image 3- The frequency of the words used in the titles of the studied articles – January – February 2009

Image 4- The frequency of the words used in the titles of the studied articles- April 2009

As we can notice in the images above, in this case as well the difference reappears for the frequency of the use of certain word families in the construction of the titles of the articles published by the analyzed[4] newspapers.

In both January-February and April 2009 the analyzed titles were composed of words belonging to similar word families: “Romanian” (40 appearances in January – February and 70 appearances in April), “Italian” (26 appearances in January – February and 35 in April), “Spain” (2 appearances in January-February and 11 in April), “rape/ raper/ raped” (7 appearances in January-February and 2 in April). Only that this time the period April 2009 is the one which registered a bigger variety in the use of certain key-words with a bigger appearance frequency for the following: “earthquake”, “to murder/ the murder” “to arrest/ the arrested”, “prison/ to imprison”, “to accuse/ the accused”, “to condemn/ the condemned”, “crisis”, “to steal/ theft” “to fight/ fighting”, “to investigate/ the investigated”, “to die” (To be seen to this effect Image 4 as compared to Image 3).

The second difference between the two title samples (and implicitly periods) consisted in their length: the enunciations in the titles published in January – February were shorter, including two to eight letter words whereas the titles of the articles published in April were composed of six to nine letter words (To be seen to this effect Image 5 below).

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image 5 – The length of the words from the titles of the analyzed articles (January-February vs. April 2009)

A common element for the two article samples refers to the abbreviated style of the title composition. This aspect was true especially for predicates- “to be”, “to exist” – personal pronouns – “she”, “they” – and nouns – “woman”, “girl”, “the Romanians”:

Box 1 Examples of abbreviated titles included in the studied sample

Maroni: Hypocrisy (is) politically lucrative

Romanian-Italian urban guerilla (causes) other deaths and wounded people

One out of ten gypsies in Spain (is in/ faces) a situation of social exclusion

Romanians (are/were) slaves at a farm in Italy

[Woman/ Girl] kept in chains in a shack

[Romanians] Sent home by the crisis

 

Coming back again to the differences registered in the two periods I presumed that generally speaking, the place of the words Romanian man/ Romanian Woman/ Romanian men/ Romanian women as generic term(s) designating migrants from our country to the European Union will be in a significant proportion of 25% - 35% will be that of the grammatical subject. I have esteemed that this is an important position producing an impact for a title in a newspaper, being a place which would draw the reader’s attention.  

The analysis of the way in which the titles were composed indicates the fact that only in April for 25% out of the total of the sample, the considered words occupied this position, in the previous period the percentage being under the established level (only 15% out of the titles published in January-February occupying that position). Our assumption being overthrown for January 2009, we witnessed thus at the confirmation of an alternative assumption: The semantic place given with the biggest frequency to the words from the family Romanian man/ Romanian Woman/ Romanian men/ Romanian women was as a part in a subordinated sentence – a total of 46% for the sample analyzed that month.

Table 1 – The semantic places of the words Romanian man/ Romanian Woman/ Romanian men/ Romanian women inside the titles – Examples

 

January-February  2009

April 2009

Subject

-The Romanians in Guidonia are afraid to get out of the house

-15 year-old Romanian aggressed in Florence

-The Romanian rapers in Rome were mistreated

-Romanian interests in Italy

-Out of the arrested people at the beginning of the year, only 16% are Romanian

-Romanian shop in Rome attacked with glass fire

Subordinated part of a sentence

-The Romanians in Spain started selling their estates

-Romanian man arrested for theft in Italy in the area affected by the earthquake

-The Romanians accused of killing “the wheat king” may have committed burglaries in other houses

-A Romanian shepherd’s corpse was found

-A 2 year-old Romanian child drowned in Alicante

-Romanian little girl missing after the earthquake in Italy

 

Summing up this part of the present analysis we can say that the framing[5] types of the titles of the articles in the considered periods had significant differences. Thus, in the period in which the articles covered an event with a high level of negative connotation (January-February 2009), the titles of the articles tended to use especially a language “centered” on certain key-terms to the detriment of the lexical diversity but in which the generic term designating the national origin of the actors (“Romanian man/ Romanian woman”) was attributed a subordinated role.  This method of composing the press texts is constituted by a significant “indicator” of the subordinated role ascribed to these actors inside the events and the acts presented by the titles of the articles. From a semantic point of view, this result may also suggest for this period, the fact that the Romanians (as actors of the narrative) were not ascribed exclusively the role of responsible agents during such events. They were rather placed in a subordinated, passive position, a sort of defenseless victims of the actions performed by others.

 

The analysis of the main mechanisms used in the articles “framing”

 

The compared analysis of the ways in which the causality[6] relationship was expressed inside the considered articles highlighted that in the period January-February 2009 they were used 35 times, the double as compared to their incidence in April 2009 (in which case I have registered 17 uses of the respective syntagms out of the total of the analyzed articles – To be seen in the Table 2 below).

 

 

Table 2 – The frequency of the use of the syntagms denoting causality relationships: January-February 2009 vs. April 2009 (Simple frequencies for the total of the sample)

 

January-February 2009

April 2009

So that

4

-

Given that

1

1

Hence

2

1

Because

9

7

Due to

13

-

As

1

-

Whereas

4

8

Therefore

1

-

 

The higher use frequency of this type of syntagms in the first interval (January-February 2009) indicates (Gee, 1999: 133) an accent falling in these articles on a more syntactic method of composing the press materials in which the causality relationships were emphasized out of all the components.

From a quantitative point of view as well, the compared analysis of the journalistic procedures involved in reconstructing the social identities by “framing” the subordinated[7] discourses, indicated also that in the period January-February 2009 they were used 62 times, eleven times more than their use in April 2009 (when I have registered only 5 such syntagms in the considered sample – To be seen to this effect Table 3 below).

 

 

 

 

Table 3 – Syntagms which indicate the reconstruction of the social identities by “framing” the subordinated discourses: January-February 2009 vs. April 2009 (Simple frequencies for the total of the sample)

 

January-February 2009

April 2009

To state/ states/ it is stated/ statements

50

3

To presume/ presumes/ presumptions 

-

2

To say/ to be said

12

-

 

The data from the previous table emphasize a bigger preponderance of the “primary defining terms” for a reconstructed situation through printed media products (Cohen, 1972) – either individuals, persons or institutions.

We are thus dealing, from this perspective, with two distinct modalities of causal “framing” and appeal to “sources”:

A. A more normative journalistic approach in the articles where the emphasis was on the “logical” relationships between the acts and the events which composed the articles narrative- January-February 2009;

B. A composition type of the journalistic text more interested by marking out the existing narrative connexions inside the general topic of the article to the detriment of a more formal approach as previously mentioned- April 2009[8].

 

 

The analysis of the structure of the articles devoted to the topic of the Romanian work force migration in the E. U. – Case Studies

 

The sample studied in this chapter was made out of two articles about the Romanian work force migration in the E. U. published in the main Romanian newspapers. We have decided to analyze an article for each period and the articles that are included in this sub-sample are presented in Box 2 below:

Box 2- The titles of the articles used as examples for analyzing the structure of the articles

Evenimentul Zilei – February 2 2009: "The Black chronicle" from Italy affects the Romanians

Adevărul – April 10 2009: Disappointed by what they find at their return, the Romanians want to go back to Spain

 

Given the restrictions in the gathering of the empirical[9] material we didn’t manage to complete the first stage in the analysis of the structure of the articles according to the iterative procedure presented by D. Deacon and P. Golding. Nevertheless, for the second stage, we have to notice the fact that the comparative analysis made on the “thematic structure of the articles” highlighted the use, in both periods, by the journalists of the so-called inverted “pyramid” in the news narrative (D. Deacon, P. Golding, 1999: 170).

In all the four cases, the narrative “scheme” was sequential and involved a shift from an initial “core” towards a multitude of “complementary” elements. The “core” was composed of a unique textual entity based on a sequential multitude: “Who, What, When, Where and Why”.

 

 

 

Table 4 - The narrative “scheme” in the analyzed articles

 

Who

What

When

Where

Why

Evenimentul Zilei –February 2  2009

Dumitru Măierean, ”Mitruţ”- Managing Partner at a company dealing with sanitary installation

Tells his migrant worker story

He left Romania 10 years ago (in 1998)

In Italy- Grosseto city, in between Milan and Rome

Determined by the Italians’ reaction (violent attacks) towards the Romanians

Adevărul –April 10 2009

Mihai Niculae (39 years) former worker in the constructions field, unemployed at present

Talks about his return to Romania and compares it to Spain

A month ago

Livezeni town, Arges County

 

He came back home from Spain because he lost his job (he is unemployed)

 

Both articles chosen for the analysis had as common topic the presentation of a “case study” on the situation of the Romanian work force migration in Italy[10]. The comparison between the “framing” procedures used in both articles highlighted not only the differences but also the resemblances between the journalistic styles approached according to the given period. Thus, the article from February began with a paragraph made of four sentences which sum up the history of the Romanian work force migration in Italy: 

„Many Romanians who came in Italy before the E .U. integration experienced real adventures. The visas and the work permits represented the main obstacle. The majority found the necessary means to integrate on the labor market barred for the illegal Romanian immigrants and to avoid being arrested by the Italian police. Among these, Dumitru Măieren, who left the country ten years ago”.

These sentences precede and establish in fact the thematic structure of the article. The first clear reference to the main actor is made not by direct quotation, but by paraphrase:

„This one [Dumitru Măierean – the main character n.n.] declares himself amazed by the negative effects borne by the Romanian community after the publicized incidents when some of the fellow citizens were arrested”.  

Subsequently, the subject of the article is clarified by directly quoting the main actor: “What else can one say in such moments? What is there yet to come?” – referring directly to the situation of the demonstrations against the Romanian community in Italy.

In the case of the article from April, the beginning is similar, being in fact a brief general presentation of the situation of the Romanians who went to work in Italy, the paraphrase being also present here instead of quoting directly:

„A lot of Romanians, who came back from Spain, are going back to the Iberian Peninsula after only a few months. Mihai Niculae (39 years) worked four years in the constructions field, at Zaragoza, but now he is unemployed. He thought that coming back to Romania, he would go by easily.” 

We are dealing (even at this minimal level) with a confirmation of the results previously highlighted: when some “negative”, maximal events are covered in the media, the journalists resort much more to the causal approach and a series of “primary defining terms” for a given event.

 

 

 

 

 

Table 5 – The resemblances and differences between the two articles referring to the Romanian immigrants in the European Union (January – February 2009 vs. April 2009)

 

Evenimentul Zilei - February 2 2009: The Italian” black chronicle" affects the Romanians

Adevărul – April 10 2009: Disappointed by what they find at their return, the Romanians want to go back to Spain

“The thematic structure” of the article

All the elements from the sequential multitude were presented

All the elements from the sequential multitude were presented

The quality and quantity of the sources

The balanced use of normative sources vs. personalized ones

The personalized sources and the minimal use of the normative/legal ones were emphasized 

 

We can add, for the February article, that the attention given to the official and formal sources (mass-media) in the construction of the article emphasized the hierarchical construction of the information in quotation “stages” from the Italian newspaper suggesting the necessity of a “causal” trajectory, comprehensible during a possible reading of the press material.

 

Conclusions

 

Coming back to the question to which we have been looking for an answer in the present article (“Is there an influence exerted by the Diaspora public on the media agenda and the journalistic practices?”) we can say that the answer provided by the data analysis was a positive one.

It is obvious that (even at a minimal level of comparative analysis) the journalistic routine procedures were influenced not only by the topic in itself (the issue of the Romanian immigrants in the European Union) but especially by its preeminence in a given period. 

At a comparative level, taking into account the theoretical differences between the various types of „frames” we can say that in the period January-February the “contextual framings” were obviously more favored, the articles highlighting not only the presentation of certain individual explanations but especially the social ones. 

On the basis of the analysis made until now we can’t say that in the case of the second period (of “normality”, as we considered) the “episodic framing” type would have been obviously favored, given the lack of clear empirical evidence to this effect.

The titles of the articles from the first analyzed period aimed at using a vocabulary extremely “focused” on key-words and we registered a more reduced variety of the vocabulary used in their construction as compared to April 2009.

We can say that the appeal to “sources” as a typically journalistic procedure was also different depending on the given period. Thus, the articles published in the period of “normality” (April 2009) appealed less to “primary defining terms for the situation”, being thus less normative in approaching the topic of interest.

The emphasis of the logical structure of the causal trajectory in explaining a social fact is obvious in the analysis of the articles from the first period (January-February 2009). We can thus consider that we are dealing with two relatively distinct modalities of presenting the same general topic, depending on the event or the events covered by the press materials.

Remains to be seen in a subsequent stage of the analysis, the presupposition (resulted post-festum from the data analysis) according to which, in the construction of the Romanian migrant actors’ articles they are conferred a priori a position of passive subordination as compared to other actors (Romanian or Italian).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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[1] In this period, the media recurrence of the topic of interest, referred especially to the rape and aggression cases made by Romanian immigrants in Italy. The Italian authorities’ reaction (introducing some restrictions in the work force migration-immigration regime) and the Romanian authorities’ answer were implicitly introduced in the media products.

[2] The period overlapped with two other events presented by the media through a reference to Romanian migrants in the European Union: the earthquake which took place in April 2009 in Italy and the (catholic and orthodox) Easter.

[3] We have considered as an acceptable “limit” for signalling the high frequency in using a word, a number of minimum 30 appearances in the articles published in that period, given the fact that this is the acceptability level for a statistical report on the manifestation of a phenomenon in the specialized literature.

[4] This time, due to the reduced volume of the analyzed sample, we considered that an acceptable “limit” for signalling the high frequency in using a certain word, could be a number of minimum 2 appearances in the titles of the published articles.

[5] We can signal as a limitation in applying T van Dijk’s methodology in the case of the present article the fact that we didn’t analyze in depth following the axis – of interest- of the way in which the title and the supertitle are related or of studying the way in which the relationship between the title and the “chapeau” is structured for the analyzed articles.

[6] The analysis was made, as we have shown in the methodology chapter, studying the use of the syntagms that designate causal relationships: “So that”, „given that”, „hence”, „because”, „due to”, „as”, „whereas”, „therefore”.

[7] The analysis was made, as we have indicated in the methodology chapter, by studying the use of the syntagms which designate the quoting of the sources: to state/ states/ statements; to presume/ presumes/ presumptions; to say/ says.

[8] At present, on the basis of the existing data analysis, we can’t even presume that in the analyzed articles for April 2009 we could have dealt with an attitude favoring the opinion journalism as opposed to the one devoted strictly to informing. For the time being, we only suggest the difference between the normative style and the narrative one, characteristic for the two sub-samples of studied articles.

[9] All the articles included in the sample are exclusively derived from electronic issues and not printed versions.

[10] We didn’t deal with extended reports, interviews, editorials or news taken from the press agencies, but  with simple articles that couldn’t even constitute “press files”. We have chosen these two episodes starting from the common topic in both the negative and “maximal coverage” period of the given topic by the mass-media (January- February 2009) and the “normality one” (April 2009).

 

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