This second issue of the Global Media Journal (German Edition) is concerned with migration and integration discourses in the media. The call for papers for this issue has been launched under the impression of the massive public debate about the racist statements and newly published book of the then Bundesbank board member Thilo Sarrazin at the end of the year 2010. The media’s handling of his assumptions about migration and integration in Germany confronted us once more with a central question of communication and media studies, namely the interdependency between media coverage and social discourses in the context of migration. Of course, anti-migration discourses do not always lead to such terrifying attacks like those of the Norwegian assassin Anders Breivik or the German terror-network of Neonazis which has been discovered at the end of 2011. But media as publishing organs and social institutions are actors in the formation of cultural, political and social constructions of immigrants and minorities as „others“.
This consideration marks the starting point for the authors of this special edition of GMJ which is opened by Elisabeth Klaus and Ricarda Drüeke (Salzburg). Their impressive case study documents the hierarchy of migrants as „desired“ and „undesired“ citizens in the Austrian press. The cited examples could be read as dependent media narratives to the Austrian migration policy. The subsequent article by Ulrike Irrgang (Erfurt) analyzes the images of Muslim migrants in the German weekly opinion leader DER SPIEGEL and the yellow-press daily BILD. She concludes that there is a polarizing media image of Muslims that oscillates between prominent personalities and Islamism/terrorism and as such narrows the space for presenting the wide range of Muslim lifestyles. Dennis Lichtenstein; Christiane Eilders and Julija Perlova (Duesseldorf, Hamburg) pose the question – based on the example of the Russian minority in Latvia – which role the mediated public sphere plays for identity formation in multi-ethnic states. How the exterritorial identity of the Roma minorities is reflected in the public spheres in Slovenia and Poland is subject of the fourth peer-reviewed article of Magdalena Ratajczak (Wroclaw). She refers to the European minority rights, that should secure the mediation of the own cultural heritage in the media – a challenging issue, because Romanes is an only orally used language.
Outside this issue’s special focus, Susan Schenk and Mohammed Ahmed (Dresden, Cairo) examine the coverage of the post-election uprising in Iran 2009 in Al Jazeera Arabic und CNN International, based on a framing analysis.
The interview of the editors in this GMJ-edition is reserved for Sabine Schiffer (Erlangen). The dialogue-partners are zooming out once more to the broader context of mediated migration and integration debates. Schiffer describes the construction of anti-Muslim resentments in the German media as the existing „foreigner-coverage“ in a new vestment. As such, it is an exclusion discourse grown for decades – with which the endangerment of democracy through the actual economic crisis can be concealed effectively, she argues.
Finally, we review two recent books of interest for scholars dealing with international communication to complete this issue of the GMJ-DE.
We wish you an enjoyable and interesting reading,
Christine Horz & Carola Richter