Work Package no. 9 – Concluding analyses
WP 9 brings together the various project components to draw conclusion regarding how and to what extent mass media and party politicians can facilitate by simple and feasible means a pro-democratic and tolerant discourse about social and political issues among citizens.
Analysing comparatively and identifying the commonalities/differences in the manifestations of intolerant and anti-democratic attitudes in the discourses of politicians, citizens and journalists
Interplay between journalistic choices and online reactions
- An academic paper developed in this project examined the effects of journalistic style on the type of online citizen engagement, by focusing on the Facebook posts and audience reactions on the official page of investigative journalist and Gazeta Sporturilor chief editor Cătălin Tolontan. The analysis showed that both engagement and quality of discourse are encouraged by highly relevant hard news content in journalists’, while tabloidization and clickbait are less likely to be conducive to active and civil engagement.
- The findings suggest that citizens do indeed have the resources to engage with journalists and each other in a civil and democratic manner especially if elite actions create favourable conditions, which is a finding of high relevance to this project and it also clearly contributes to theoretical and empirical discussions in the mainstream international literature.
Public preferences on refugee reception
- Another analysis based on data from the two national surveys shed light on the determinants of refugee rejection, as well as the type of messaging that may encourage more welcoming attitudes. Our findings indicate that opposition to refugee reception is explained mainly by the ethnocentrism, social intolerance of those who are different and perceptions of cultural threat from minorities.
- Economic concerns play a significant though less powerful part, and a discursive frame that recall the possible cost of welcoming asylum seekers trigger greater opposition – including among the most satisfied.
- We also found that those who are more trusting and who believe in solidarity are more accepting and that a frame tapping into values related to the duty to care for others succeeded in triggering more welcoming responses. Although in our experiment, we proposed religion as the source of the imperative to help the needy, the discursive frame worked regardless of levels of religious observance. This suggests that regardless of religiosity, people value generosity and have a sense of shared humanity and that, if these concepts that are available are made more accessible through the right messaging, there is the possibility of greater tolerance and generosity towards “the Other”.
Less Hate, More Speech – Youngsters Get Involved!
The project is run by Median Research Centre (MRC) in partnership with Educ Association and targets young people between 12 and 17 years old, in order to help them better identify and react to online and offline hate speech.
More, on the project’s website.