Rolando Marini

Reasoning about Advocacy in Journalism. The Defense of Rights to the Test of Immigration and Multicultural Society

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This article addresses the issue of advocacy in journalism, facing its controversial development in the social sciences, to achieve an alternative conceptualization, strictly connected with the question of the social responsibility. The aim is to better understand this category and to verify its effectiveness in the study of the representation of the immigration issue by the Italian quality papers. A large discussion is carried on, about the history of the concept, to highlight crucial passages in which, both in the US and in the Italian contexts, the advocacy strategies interact with the social change, transforming the role of journalism in the society. A view based upon mixed strategies is proposed, where the interplay between advocacy and politics accountability faces the old and new imperatives of commercialism. Then, some data deriving from a content analysis of news items published by «la Repubblica» and «Corriere della Sera» are presented, in order to show the across time evolution of the coverage of the immigration-related events and debates. Regarding 2017, a comparison between the two national and two regional papers highlights relevant differences, allowing to outline the advocacy profile. The intersection with the persistently strong attention devoted to the conflict among parties is finally evaluated as a relevant drawback in the advocacy strategies.


  • Advocacy journalism
  • Journalism studies
  • Immigration
  • Human rights
  • Emergency


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