Characterising migrations in Latin America: analysis and media coverage proposals of the Argentine case
Fernández Bravo, Ezequiel
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The objective of this policy brief is to provide guidelines and tools for self-regulation of journalism in Argentina, based on pluralism and differences in reporting and media coverage of migration, as main principles. Latin America has been and still is a continent defined by a dynamic and continuous migratory flow, both in inter-regional and intra-regional terms. In the last few years, several states from the region have been affected by setbacks in public policies, administrative practices and regulatory provisions. These dynamics have been replicated and encouraged by mass media. By stereotyping migrants in negative terms, mass media has justified human rights violations, highlighting and furthering xenophobic expressions within civil society. Mass media play an essential role in this process, as actors with the agency to shape a public agenda, enable or constrain imaginaries within society and characterise and portray vulnerable groups, in this case, the migrant population. Even though the phenomenon has extended throughout the region, analysing the Argentinian case is of special interest due to the approach to migration from a human rights and securitisation perspective. The growing criminalisation, following regressive policies and multiple discourses by first-line government officials, has been accompanied by media discourse in tune with editorial lines about the subject from the 1990s. Although it was nuanced at the beginning of this century, it has re-emerged strongly in the last five years. The present policy brief seeks to propose guidelines aimed at prevent xenophobia and eradicate the use of stereotypes. It also suggests more appropriate conditions to think about professional journalism and the interaction with migrant groups and audiences that actively participate in the shaping news. Among these mechanisms, the strengthening of the Public Defender’s Office for Audiovisual Communication Services is central. Finally, it suggests guidelines to strengthen and increase support mechanisms for the self-regulation of independent journalism, without interference.