[EN] Video Transcript
In this unit, we’ll take an in-depth look at how media reporting shapes societies’ perceptions. Emphasis was placed on the changing of views negatively or positively. Respondents whose media stories had changed their views in a negative direction outnumbered those reporting a positive impact with 18% for Europeans and 26% for southern and eastern Mediterraneans. Whereas, when comparing positive view changes, we saw a difference with 8% from European countries compared to 21% from southern and eastern Mediterranean.
The 2009 survey also revealed this difference in relation to media’s role in shaping perceptions, when a large majority of European respondents at 79% said that their country’s media did not encourage a more positive image of southern and eastern Mediterraneans; at a slightly lower degree, a similar view was expressed by respondents on the other shore, at 69%.
Let’s take a closer look at our experts’ comments on media and mutual perceptions.
Paul Gillespie, reflecting on the number of people interested in news and information from the other shore of the Mediterranean, notes across-the-board that“… [The] patterns of indifference shown here show that reporting across the Mediterranean is probably not a media priority on either side”.
He also focuses on the impact of news content on perceptions by showing that “those exposed to media coverage of the South were significantly more likely to say it has to do with migration issues than those who were not”. He considers that interpretations
of the Survey results and the impact of media on mutual perceptions must take into account the recent dramatic events concerning refugees, migrants and the recurrent terrorist attacks in Europe. He further states that impressions of media coverage
need to be deepened by research, with findings debated by the same journalists and editors. Gillespie calls for the creation of a Media Observatory mechanism which can involve practicing journalists, editors and publishers
in discussing issues of intercultural relations together with analysts and civil society representatives.
Nabil Fahmy and Emilia Valsta discuss the need for education to challenge prevailing narratives, by promoting media literacy to train people to spot flawed information and foster intercultural dialogue on a large scale, particularly in southern and eastern Mediterranean countries. This could not only be an efficient way of deterring fake news from having an impact on people’s views of others, but could also help challenge prevailing media narrative.