Contested Visions of Europe during Refugees’ Crisis: Traditional Gatekeepers in the Digital Sphere


4 novembre 2017    
09:00 - 10:00


Cette communication s’est tenu lors des journées « Regional conflicts and contested spatial identities in the digital sphere » organisées par Georg Glasze, Christian Bittner and Elad Segev à Erlangen (Allemagne)

Even if several scholars have evoked the crisis of traditional media, newspapers still constitute the main gatekeepers that set the international agenda. Today news is published online and circulates quickly in the digital sphere by creating some vision of the World that may influence public opinions. In this communication, we aim at studying the action of newspapers as gatekeepers based on the construction of geopolitical representations through the diffusion of their online news. In particular, we will consider the case of the refugees’ crisis in Europe in the last two years where the question of borders and the definition of regions around and across Europe are still central. The analysis is based on a wide database of international news extracted from the RSS feeds of daily newspapers located around the World. The considered corpus includes 36 newspapers in four languages (French, English, Spanish, Italian) of 23 different countries for a period of two years (2014-2016). The corpus was collected in the frame of the ANR project “Corpus Geomedia” (2012-2016).
Our hypothesis is that by studying the co-occurrences of countries’ names in news it is possible to rebuild the proposed vision of Europe by each newspaper. The comparison of such different vision, through a network and spatial approach, will allow us to identify geopolitical controversies related to regional conflicts in Europe. This research is currently developed in the framework of H2020 project Odycceus.

Romain Leconte is Ph.D candidate in political geography at the University of Paris Diderot. He is member of Géographie-cités research team and involved in the H2020 Odycceus research programme on European opinion dynamics. His thesis focuses on European territory construction and examines media coverage of European border conflicts at different spatial and temporal scale as well through press media as digital social media. It aims at analysing competing geographical visions in context of geopolitical dissension and the role of media in shaping them.

Claude Grasland is full professor of Human Geography at the University of Paris Diderot. His research focus on spatial analysis of social facts with a specific focus on European and Global scales. He is member of the research team Géographie-Cités and director of the International College for Territorial Sciences (FR2007 CIST). He has been recently coordinator of a European Project about visions of Europe seen from abroad (FP7-Eurobroadmap, 2009-2012) and a national project about international news flow (ANR Geomedia,2013-2016). He is currently engaged in an international project about the modelization of opinion dynamics in classical and social media (H2020 Odycceus, 2017-2020).

Marta Severo is associate professor in Communication at the University of Paris Nanterre. Her research focuses on digital methods for social sciences and representations of spatial objects through web-based data. Her current studies concern the citizen sciences platforms related to cultural heritage. She was postdoctoral fellow at the Politecnico of Milan, at Sciences Po Paris and at the International College for Territorial Sciences (FR2007 CIST) in Paris. She has also been involved in several UNESCO projects, notably at the World Heritage Centre. Since 2012, she coordinates CIST research programme Media and territories.

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