An analysis of the portrayal of immigration in the Spanish press with a particular focus on compassion fatigue and the impact of the image and the caption

Bryceland, Claire Laura (2016) An analysis of the portrayal of immigration in the Spanish press with a particular focus on compassion fatigue and the impact of the image and the caption. MPhil(R) thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Printed Thesis Information:


This research was set out to explore the concept of immigration within the Spanish press, as Spain is a large country with differing views, this project provides a framework for understanding the harsh reality of life as an immigrant versus the ways in which immigrants are portrayed in the press. Immigration is a reoccurring topic within the news and this project assesses the way in which immigration related coverage and reporting on the media sphere influences the reception of immigration. This thesis focused on areas within Andalusia, specifically the province of Almeria as it is often viewed as the entry point to Europe from Africa. Following one year living in the area, it became evident that, despite the high number of immigration related tragedies and the increase in the influx of immigrants into the area, immigration was a topic of little interest to the local people. This encouraged a desire to research more and find out why this was the case. Ethical limitations initially put a halt to my investigation as I was unable to communicate with undocumented individuals. The fact that a research project on immigration, particularly those of illegal status, meant that I was unable to find out the true stories and opinions of those affected emphasises that the topic is one fraught with difficulties and challenges which must be tackled. This thesis is important as it raises awareness to the fact that the local media, in this case in Spain, are selective in their use of images and generally portray immigration as a negative social problem. Several interviews with professionals in the field, as well as locals from the area provided abundant information on the general public opinion of immigration in Almeria. This was useful for the main section of my thesis - an analysis of immigration related photography and newspaper articles. This project reviews the photographic techniques and the captions used to portray immigration related events and argues that the lack of interest in immigration is a result of Susan Sontag’s theory of compassion fatigue. The negative stigma attached to immigration in Almeria is a consequence of the repetitive news discourses which focus primarily on the crime story, rather than the wellbeing of immigrants.

Item Type: Thesis (MPhil(R))
Qualification Level: Masters
Additional Information: Due to copyright restrictions the full text of this thesis cannot be made available online. Access to the printed version is available once any embargo periods have expired.
Keywords: Immigration, immigrants, Almeria, Andalusia, Media, Spanish media, Patera: A dinghy or small wooden boat, commonly used to transport illegal immigrants, Compassion Fatigue: Indifference towards an issue in the media caused by repeated exposure to shocking/negative images/reports, Inmigrante: Immigrant (Spanish term), La Voz de Almería/La Voz: A local newspaper from the province of Almeria.
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PB Modern European Languages
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts & Humanities > School of Modern Languages and Cultures > Hispanic Studies
Supervisor's Name: Gardner, Dr. Nathanial and Cornella, Dr. Jordi
Date of Award: 2016
Depositing User: Miss Claire Bryceland
Unique ID: glathesis:2016-8103
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 26 Jun 2017 15:01
Last Modified: 15 May 2024 09:06
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.8103

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