Caught between sympathy and suspicion: : Journalistic perceptions and practices of telling asylum seekers’ personal stories

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Pantti , M K & Ojala , M M 2019 , ' Caught between sympathy and suspicion: Journalistic perceptions and practices of telling asylum seekers’ personal stories ' , Media, Culture & Society , vol. 41 , no. 8 , pp. 1031-1047 . https://doi.org/10.1177/0163443718756177

Title: Caught between sympathy and suspicion: : Journalistic perceptions and practices of telling asylum seekers’ personal stories
Author: Pantti, Mervi Katriina; Ojala, Markus Mikael
Other contributor: University of Helsinki, Department of Social Research (2010-2017)
University of Helsinki, Department of Social Research (2010-2017)


Date: 2019-11
Language: eng
Number of pages: 17
Belongs to series: Media, Culture & Society
ISSN: 0163-4437
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0163443718756177
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/306201
Abstract: Personal stories in news reports serve multiple purposes, but at their core lie efforts at illustrating and authenticating a social or political issue through human experience, an illustration that is compelling in its affective appeal. Telling the personal stories of people belonging to minority groups may work as a potent journalistic vehicle in countering negative stereotypes and prejudices against them. This article examines how Finnish journalists incorporate the personal stories of asylum seekers into their coverage of the so-called 'European refugee crisis' of 2015-2016. Drawing on qualitative interviews, we inquire into how journalists understand the meaning and purpose of asylum seekers' personal stories in their news reporting and reflect on the professional values and ethical dilemmas when telling them. Our findings reveal that while journalists tend to sympathise with the vulnerable and see it as important to combat xenophobia and racism, their relationship with asylum seekers becomes increasingly informed and constrained by socio-political and discursive structures that foster a culture of suspicion towards asylum seekers.
Subject: 518 Media and communications
asylum seeker
ethics
journalism
personal story
suspicion
REFUGEE CRISIS
NEWS
CITIZENS
POLITICS
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