Journalism in an age of populism and polarisation: lessons from the migration debate in Italy
Campus Scientifico via Torino - edificio ZETA, Aula A
Lucía Schmidt, DAIS - Università Ca' Foscari Venezia
How should journalists adapt their editorial strategies to overcome extreme polarisation and the tactics of populist politicians? Over the past year, we worked on a unique project with the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera and the London School of Economics Arena. We analysed different approaches to writing about migration in Italy, a highly controversial topic in the country. How can one cover such issues in a way that promotes civil engagement, enhances trust and a fact-based discourse? In order to find an answer, we established a unique set of 'public service spirited' metrics and analysed thousands of online comments. The study was presented at a workshop in London with senior editors and journalists from the BBC, Observer, Financial Times and others.
Ana Lucia Schmidt studies Computer Systems Engineering in the Universidad Nacional del Sur (Argentina) and then went to do a Ph.D. in Computer Science at IMT School for Advanced Studies Lucca (Italy). Her thesis was an in-depth quantitative analysis of news consumption and polarization on Facebook, taking into account factors such as trust in news, confirmation bias, and cognitive dissonance. Her current research interests lie in effective communication on social media, both considering polarization and engagement. Last year she worked on the joint project "Overcoming Polarisation and Misinformation around Migration in Italy" with the newspaper Corriere della Sera and London School of Economics. This year she's working on the QUEST H2020 project to measure the current state of science communication on social media and develop strategies into how to improve it.
ACADIA Research Centre