Journalism in an age of populism and polarisation:

lessons from the migration debate in Italy

In partnership with Ca’ Foscari University of Venice and Corriere della Sera


"The environment has to radically change if media are to focus on content that fosters a politics that revolves less around populist personalities, disinformation and polarisation."

 Untitled design (2)How should journalists adapt their editorial strategies to overcome extreme polarisation and the tactics of populist politicians? Over the past year LSE Arena worked on a unique project with the Italian Newspaper Corriere della Sera and the University of Venice. 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, Arena and our partners 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.


See translations of the Executive Summary in French, Spanish and Italian

Untitled design (1)
Report launch workshop 24th June, 2019