RACISM AND THE PRESS IN
Teun A. van Dijk
Universitat Pompeu Fabra,
First draft, March 4, 2006
NB. The examples in Spanish will be
translated in a future version of this paper.
Article to appear
in a Spanish version
in a book edited by Antonio Bañón (
Against the background of
general discussion about the role of the press in the reproduction of
this paper examines some properties of the coverage of immigration and
affairs in the Spanish press. In particular, it focuses on the coverage
recent events: the ‘assault’ of
The international conflict
by the anti-Muslim cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed in the Danish
newspaper Jyllands Posten has been widely covered
in the world’s press, also in
These three events will be examined in more detail in this paper in order to illustrate the way the Spanish quality press, and in particular El País, covers ‘ethnic events’ in general, and immigration in particular. I shall do so against the broader background of earlier work on European elite racism and the role of the press in the reproduction of ethnic inequality in society.
Elite racism and its denial
If there is one social phenomenon that is often referred to, and even more often denied, but without much knowledge about what exactly it is, it is racism. If acknowledged at all, racism is typically attributed to others, to other countries, to other (‘lower’) classes, or considered to be a thing of the past. Against the daily experiences of its victims, European racism against non-Western immigrants and ethnic minorities is seldom recognized by the political, media and academic elites.
One of the reasons of this consistent and widespread negation is that racism is often associated with and limited to the Extreme Right, that is, with blatant prejudices and discrimination. The many more subtle, interpersonal as well as structural and institutional forms of everyday racism are usually ignored, and emphatically denied when they are attributed to the symbolic elites who control the access to public discourse.
Yet, if we assume that racism is not innate but learned, it must be learned during the social practices that have most impact on most people, that is, public discourse in general, and political and media discourse, in particular — as well as on the everyday conversations that in turn are derived from this public discourse. Indeed, in most Western European countries most ‘white’ citizens do not have extensive personal and daily experiences with immigrants or ethnic minorities, and most information — as well as opinions — about them, hence, must be derived from the mass media, and learned from those who have access to the mass media.
This argument is based on an empirically well-tested theory that defines European racism as a system of social power abuse, of domination of non-European ethnic minority groups by a European (‘white’) ethnic majority (and in some countries, such as Guatemala, and the former Apartheid South-Africa).
This system of ethnic domination has two major dimensions, namely that of social cognition (prejudices, racist ideologies), on the one hand, and of social practices (discrimination, exclusion, etc.), on the other hand. In order to be able to discriminate on ethnic grounds, one needs the relevant beliefs, categories, values and norms that define ethnic prejudices and ideologies. And in order to acquire such beliefs, one in turn needs to be exposed to racist discourses, which are themselves prominent social practices of the system of racist domination.
That is, racist practices, cognition and discourse are intimately related: we learn our prejudices largely through text and talk, first from our parents and friends, then from textbooks, television, and the newspaper, that is, from the symbolic elites: teachers, journalists, writers and politicians. The same is true, obviously, for our antiracist beliefs, ideologies and practices.
The question then is which of these discourses are dominant in society. Extensive international research of the last decade has unambiguously shown that the ‘white’ press in general is part of the problem of racism, rather than part of its solution.
Whether more blatantly on the Right and especially in popular tabloids, or more subtly on the Left, all empirical research shows, among many other things, that non-European immigrants and minorities are systematically portrayed as a problem, and attributed many negative characteristics, of which violence, crime or cultural (religious, linguistic, etc.) deviance have been the main ones.
Moreover, the research
this bias is also due to the systematic discrimination of minority
despite the presence of qualified minority journalists, newsrooms
In other words, the mass media play a prominent role in the coverage of ethnic affairs, and they do so in a way that promotes ethnic prejudices and, indirectly, discriminatory social practices based on such negative beliefs about the Others.
The media, however, are not alone. Much of their new and coverage is of politicians and political discourse, another ‘elite’ source of racism in society. Again, as is the case for the media, also the majority of the politicians are not blatantly racist, and indeed some are antiracist. However,
as suggested above, much of their ‘modern’ racism is rather indirect, disguised and mitigated. Their discourse might be focusing on the ‘problems’ (rather than the challenges and possibilities) of the multicultural society, and is often limited to arguments that oppose further immigration — often in name of the ‘people’.
Racism and the Press
Let us examine some of the
properties of the racism in the press, and then proceed to a more
account of the three events widely covered in the Spanish press: the
As suggested above, one of
conditioning elements of the prevailing racism of the European press is
inherent bias in the processes of production. Newsgathering routines
discourses of elite sources, and because the elite sources are
white, the dominant discourse that is used as news, opinion and
defines a bias that is stacked against a definition of events from the
perspective of minority groups and their members. Minority sources, if
consulted at all, are found less credible. Despite prevailing
ignorance, white journalists often think that white sources know more
more ‘objective’ about ethnic groups and ethnic affairs than minority
and their leaders and experts themselves. And because of widespread
discrimination against minority journalists, alternative and expert
ethnic minority communities and perspectives is scarce and often
even in the newsrooms of Europe’s elite quality newspapers. Unlike
It is not surprising that in such a production context, news and opinion about non-western immigrants, refugees, and minorities — and in general on ethnic affairs — is hardly unbiased. As is the case for all outgroups, the overall discursive strategy is to emphasize Our good things and Their bad things, and to de-emphasize (deny, ignore, mitigate) Our bad things and Their good things. Such polarization, expressing and reproducing underlying racist prejudices and ideologies, is implemented at all levels of media discourse.
In the press, for instance, this means that negative stories about Them are more frequent, bigger, more often on the front page, with bigger headlines, and so on. Besides such presentational and visual bias, we also find syntactic bias through the use of active sentences to emphasize Their negative actions and responsibilities, but passive sentences or nominalization (like “discrimination”) with hidden agents when We are responsible for negative actions against them (discrimination, racism, violence, etc.).
Most conspicuous is the biased selection of overall topics (semantic macrostructures). Analyses of many thousands of news and opinion articles in many research projects in many countries have consistently shown that — unlike our ‘own’ group — immigrants or minorities tend to be exclusively associated with negative topics and problems: immigration as invasion, abuse of identity papers, mafias, unemployment, violence, crime, drugs, illegality, cultural deviance, fanaticism, religious intolerance, backwardness, and so on.
At the same time, their
positive characteristics are systematically denied, ignored or
such as the immigrants’ contributions to the economy (crucial in
agriculture, hotels, restaurants and domestic service), ethnic
the arts, much needed correction of a very low autochthonous birthrate,
on. Thus, whereas emphasis on problems is routine and daily, one seldom
emphasis on the fact that
Besides the racist biases in the definition of main topics, also expressed in the headlines, we find a host of more local properties of news and opinion articles that implement this ideological polarization in discourse. Thus, the problems and ‘threats’ of immigration are rhetorically enhanced by standard metaphors such as ‘waves’, and by the consistent number game of keeping count of how many thousands are arriving. That such numbers are not merely the expression of the usual rhetoric of exactness in the news may be concluded from the fact that these numbers are never given for all those who are leaving the country — as was the case for the millions of Spanish and Italian Gastarbeiter in the 1950s and 1960s in Northern Europe, or the political refugees from Latin America in the 1960 and 1970s.
The local discourse semantics of racist discourse is exhibited in the news, the editorials and the other opinion articles by more or less subtle meanings, such as negative descriptions of the Others, vague expressions for Our negative properties, and of course the usual play of negative presuppositions and other implications that indirectly state what hardly can be asserted explicitly about Them.
Consistent with the exclusion of minority journalists in the newsroom and the lacking access of other than white elite sources in the production process, is the biased pattern of citations in the news. Ethnic events are nearly exclusively defined by Our elites, and when those of the Others are incidentally given the floor, it is either because They are hardly representative (such as extremists) or because they happen to agree with Us. In any case, the Others are seldom speaking alone, and if they do have a different view on ethnic affairs than We do, their opinions are generally ‘balanced’ by one of Us. Of course Their accusations of racism tend not to be taken seriously, and hence are typically censored or played down — and always cited with conspicuous quotation marks, that is, not as a description of the facts, or as items of common knowledge, but as a controversial opinion.
In sum, both in the strategies of news production as well as in their discursive consequences in the news or the opinion articles themselves, we find a consistent pattern of racist bias, exclusion, and the overall polarization between Our good things and Their bad things. Whereas the prominent topics and headlines defining ethnic events and ethnic Others as a problem or as a threat are most conspicuous, more sophisticated discourse analysis has shown that such negativization extends to the subtle play of pronouns, demonstratives, active-passive syntax, implied meanings and the usual rhetorical means of emphasizing and de-emphasizing meaning.
Of course, the press is not homogeneous, and we may find differences between conservative, populist tabloids, on the one hand, or more liberal quality newspapers on the other hand. But the differences are more a question of style than of content. The quality press no less features news on problems and threats of immigration, illegality, crime and violence, and especially also alleged cultural threats. Most obvious, for instance, is that both on the Right as well as on the Left, and both in the tabloids as well as in the quality press, the denial of racism is standard. In fact, sometimes the denials on the Left are more vehement, because an ‘accusation’ of racism (and of sexism) is felt to be inconsistent with a progressive self-image. The same is true for the discrimination of minority journalists and minority sources in the production of news.
Also, the press is of course not alone in this discursive construction and reproduction of racism, and much of its discourses are rather closely imported from similar text and talk in politics, the bureaucracy, scholarship and other domains of symbolic power in society. Indeed, journalists not seldom blame others, such as politicians or the public at large, for their topics, style and other aspect of reporting — as if they were passive chroniclers of the discourses of the other power elites, or even of that of public sphere in general.
The Spanish Press
Unfortunately, most of the
generalizations formulated above for the European press also apply to
Yet, on the other hand,
press also has some particular properties that sets it apart from the
First of all, there is
properly speaking, a right-wing, popular tabloid press, as we know it
Secondly, the history of
Spanish press should also be seen against the light of the struggle
dictatorship, which promoted a strong democratic tradition since the
1970s. This means that fascism, and more generally right-wing
outside of the consensus in
And finally, the debate in
politics, education, the press and language in
These and other factors
Spanish press apart from much of the press in
As may be expected and
fast non-European immigration has had its consequences also on the
attitudes of large parts of the immigrant population. Although, again,
strong as elsewhere in the EU, xenophobic and racist feelings have
widespread, and enacted in many forms of everyday discrimination and
talk. As suggested, the Popular Party, led by former Prime Minister,
Aznar, following the lead of the success of anti-immigrant politics on
be sustained without reproduction and help from the mass media. This
national papers close to the Popular Party, such as ABC
The national prestige
as El País and El Mundo, as well as
the regional quality press, such as
Especially El País, backing the current socialist government of Luís Rodríguez Zapatero, has a rich tradition of high quality and progressive journalism that is largely inconsistent with explicit racism. Its strong opposition against the Popular Party and its earlier leader and Prime Minister Aznar also implied opposition against the latter’s anti-immigration rhetoric.
As elsewhere in
Similarly, during the
affair in early 2006, El País, just
like other EU newspapers, emphasized the freedom of the press and hence
legitimatized anti-Muslim discourse, while again dramatically enhancing
and violent Muslim protest around the world. Such biased reporting
clearly shows in what is not
reported. Thus, although the occasion would have demanded it as context
information, it did not publish background articles on racism in the EU
nor detailed reports about racism and the situation of immigrants in
Racism and the Spanish Press
From the summary of some general properties of the Spanish press and its coverage of immigration, minorities and ethnic issues, we may expect few explicitly racist articles, but a clear European (Spanish, ‘white’) perspective on events. The few studies on racism in the Spanish press confirm this prediction. It is rare to find the explicit xenophobic sensationalism we may find in the British tabloid The Sun, or German Bild.
Before we examine this
impression in more detail, let us summarize some earlier data.
the excellent press data of the Observatorio Permanente de
368 El País
237 El Mundo
Table 1. Frequencies of articles on immigration in four national and regional newspapers
This means that after a steady increase of the coverage in the 1990s, the national and local newspapers in 2000 published on average about three articles per day on issues related to immigration, with El País at the top with 4 articles per day. The topics during these days may be summarized in Table 2:
15% Legislación, ley extranjería, etc.
23% Control de las fronteras
5% Vida cotidiana (trabajo, alojamiento, escuela)
16% Delincuencia, violencia
16% Solidaridad (denuncias, etc.)
Table 2. Topics in the 2000 Spanish newspaper coverage of immigration.
This simple frequency list
that at least in 2000 — as was the case from the start — immigration
in Spain focuses first of all on the arrival of new immigrants
framed as illegal crossings from Africa in “pateras”), on the one hand,
question of papers and regularization on the other hand. Most likely a
distribution is true today and for 2005, when the new regularization
law of the
new socialist government permitted millions of “illegal” immigrants to
their situation — a topic prominently covered in the press, especially
pro-socialist newspaper El País. Note
that the “control de las fronteras” topics not only account for the
experiences of the immigrants at sea, but also for the actions of the
is the case anywhere else, also in
El País in 2005
To get an impression of
coverage 5 years later, we did a search of the data base of El
País¸ the paper that consistently
publishes most on immigration topics. In 2005 El País published
5791 articles featuring the words ‘inmigrante(s)’, ‘inmigración’ or the plural ‘extranjeros’
(we did not include the ambiguous singular expression ‘extranjero’,
this may also refer to ‘abroad’; obviously, the plural may also refer
foreigners from Europe – whereas ‘inmigrante’
in general only refers to non-European immigrants).
This includes all articles on other topics in which these words
are mentioned only in passing, but it confirms the general tendency
2000 of some 4 articles per day, and in 2005 probably much more (some
articles per day at least mention these words). As suggested, these
include many articles in which immigrants are only briefly mentioned,
the other hand do not include the articles that refer to immigrants
their country of origin, such as Moroccans (mentioned in 1481 articles,
of course includes reference to Moroccans in Morocco), Ecuadorians
in 327 articles). If we count all references to immigrants, foreigners,
Africans, Moroccans, Ecuadorians, “sin papeles”, etc. El
País may come close to 9000 articles in 2005.
In 2005 there are 701 one articles in El
País in which the notion of ‘racism’
(or ‘racist’) appears, although many
of these articles are about
Headlines. In order to have an idea
how many articles are
actually largely on immigrants in El País,
we examined the frequency of the words mentioned above in the
suggest that ‘immigrants’ are a topic of the articles. The large amount
thousands is now reduced to 983 for 2005, which means about 3 articles
in all sections (also international or sports), and in all regional
A more detailed study of the headlines in the Catalan edition of January-February 2006, confirms these general tendencies: of 369 headlines, 85 are about any form or illegal entry, pateras, etc.; 38 about political reactions about irregular immigration, 10 about false papers; but also 19 articles about discrimination of immigrants. As is the case for the national coverage, and different from other countries, is the scant coverage, in El País, of crimes committed by immigrants. These topics rather tend to be covered by the conservative local press, such as the Voz de Almería, etc.
We specifically focused on
articles in El País that had the word
‘racismo’ or ‘racista’ in the headline,
so as to see how the newspaper deals with
racism as a main topic. First we see that many (20) of articles on
appear in the regional supplements, especially in
In other words, in
The other major national
newspaper El Mundo published 1129 articles in 2005
with the notions of ‘immigrant’ or ‘immigration’, that is, still about
articles per day on average — following its own statistics. Only 219
actually deal with the topic as such (if we set the 95% relevance
the newspaper). However, a search for “extranjeros”
produce a frequency of 3294 articles, so that we may assume that this
is a term
more used by El Mundo than the
expression ‘inmigrantes’ (this large number of articles on foreigners
reduced to 264 if we set the relevance criteria to 95%. In other words,
are many articles that merely mention foreigners in passing and not as
topic. Obviously, the term ‘extranjeros’ may also refer to other
than immigrants, and in a search there it is impossible to make the
Yet, as also is the case in the media in
Unfortunately, we have no data from conservative ABC, whose search engine does not seem to produce reliable frequencies (all searches add up to the same frequency of 400 articles). 
From these approximate
we may first conclude about a prominent part of the national press that
topic of immigration and immigrants remains very prominent in the
press, with at least some three articles each day — and possibly much
more in El País. Also, much of this coverage
still is about illegal entry, ‘pateras’, the police and other negative
stereotypical topics. Specific for 2005 is the extensive coverage of
regularization of undocumented immigrants. On the other hand, ‘racism’
is a concept
that may appear at least once a day in the press, but hardly ever as a
topic, let alone about racism in
Looking at the regional
2005 the conservative Catalan newspaper
Observatorio ya no cree que España sea el país más racista (
In sum, as is the case for
national quality press, we find that also
From the observations made above about the frequency of specific terms in the headlines, we have been able to draw some provisional conclusions on the relative frequencies of topics in the news and the opinion articles. These simple frequency counts seem to confirm that the major topics have not changed dramatically in the last years: ‘illegal’ entry and border control (pateras, etc.), political reactions to irregular immigration, papers and regularization, and then a variety of ‘social’ topics, such as work, housing, social services, as well as forms of protest of immigrants, discrimination of immigrants as well as solidarity with immigrants.
We have also seen that the
The ‘assault’ on
After these more general remarks about the frequencies and topics of the coverage of immigrants in the Spanish press, let us examine some of this coverage in some more detail. We shall do this in the rest of this paper for the main quality paper, El País, because of its prominent position as the newspaper ‘of reference’ in the country, and because of its generally liberal, center-left, etc. policies and reporting, close to the socialist PSOE party (its slogan that it is an ‘independent’ morning paper is a form of well-known positive self-presentation that is inconsistent with its overtly biased reporting in favor of the PSOE – and its government — and against the Partido Popular and its earlier government and leaders). More generally in my work on racism and discourse, I have focused rather on ‘our’ discourses, that is, the discourses of the mainstream elites, rather than on extremist or very conservative newspapers, organizations, and so on. Indeed, the contribution of the ‘ethnic definition’ by our quality newspapers, e.g., because of their influence on the (other) elites, and primarily the politicians, is fundamental.
If there is one story that
out in 2005, it is the attempt of African (mostly young male) migrants
the Spanish city of
A las seis de la mañana de ayer
se oyó un cuerno, y 250 subsaharianos surgieron de la maleza y se
asalto de la valla que separa Melilla de Marruecos. Avanzaron en tres
unas 80 personas cada uno. Portaban más de cien escaleras para salvar
alambradas. (…) Fue como un asalto medieval. "Es la primera ocasión en
los subsaharianos se muestran agresivos", relata el portavoz de
3. 300 inmigrantes logran entrar en Melilla en dos asaltos masivos a la valla en menos de 24 horas (El País, 28-9-05)
4. ¿Salto o asalto? Leo con sorpresa en su periódico y escucho en los telediarios de Telecinco y la primera la noticia de que 70 inmigrantes subsaharianos intentan saltar la valla de Melilla, sin éxito y con resultado de varios heridos. La sorpresa no viene de la tentativa fallida, ni del número "masivo" que componía el grupo. No. La sorpresa viene de la expresión usada: asalto. Acudo al diccionario de María Moliner y compruebo que las principales acepciones de asaltar apuntan al ataque a una fortaleza o posición enemiga para penetrar en ella o tomarla; o bien "atacar a alguien, particularmente para robarle", o "penetrar violentamente en un sitio para robar". (Daniel Pelegrín Nicolás - Zaragoza)(El País, 23-9-05).
As we see from these few examples from a huge coverage of weeks, the dominant definition of the event is in the military or criminal terms of ‘assaults’ that is, in terms of violence. After criticisms such as the Letter to the Editor cited in example (3), the word ‘asalto’ was sometimes replaced by the similar word ‘salto’ (jump), which has a less negative connotation. This sensationalist coverage of an ‘international’ assault on Spanish cities by black youths of course opens the Pandora box of well-known racial stereotypes, such as about the aggression and violence of black people. Note also the use of the metaphor in (1) about the ‘medieval’ character of the assault, because of the use of long ladders used to jump the high fence. As we know more generally from the association of “time and the other” (*Fabian, 1983), the Others are often portrayed as living in another, past time — as also the common metaphor of being ‘backward’ (Spanish ‘atrasado’) suggests. The same is true for the use of a ‘horn’ to give the signal of the ‘assault’. Thus, the African blacks are associated metaphorically with ‘primitive’ means (instruments ‘we’ used in ‘our’ Middle Ages). Throughout the coverage the aggression of the African men is being emphasized, as also a (police) source in example (2) suggests. Of course, in the primary coverage, only the police is the source of all news, and no African participants are (as yet) interviewed. This happens later, occasionally, in background victim-stories in weekly supplements, namely when the Africans have been forcefully removed by the Moroccan army and police and transported back to the desert (or sometimes sent home by plane). Notice finally the typical use of numbers in example (1), is a well-known case of a rhetorical number game suggesting precision and objectivity and hence reliability and credibility of the news.
The second topic in the
coverage of El País that deserves
critical analysis is the coverage of the election of president Evo
Until today the Third World is typically represented as less democratic than Europe — thus ignoring the recency and vast international destruction brought about by the fascist regimes in Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece, colonialism until only a few decades ago by several European countries as well contemporary military hegemony and aggression by the USA and its allies.
This also applies to
and political discourse on Latin American countries, even years after
democratic elections. That is, despite changes and improvements in some
Thus, also Bolivia is covered much more intensely during open conflict and presidential elections and their aftermath, with the stereotypical label of the “poorest country of South America”, but hardly with some background articles about why, and who is keeping Bolivia so poor, despite its resources (such as gas) — controlled by ‘our’ internationals.
The earlier coverage of Evo Morales, therefore, is consistent with these general principles: Less attention is being paid to what he has done and can do for the poorest of his country (and if such contributions are mentioned at all, they are disqualified as being ‘populist’ – which means democratic policies we do not like), than to his role as an opponent of the role of the multinationals and their local political protectors. For the same reason also Morales’ association with Hugo Chávez of Venezuela, another pariah of Western politics and media, is enough to marginalize him and to brand him as another populist leader, instead as a respected, democratically elected president, who also has a heart for his people. His modest background and education, as well as his role as leader of the ‘cocaleros’ are further elements in a stereotypical portrayal as it characterized the quality press in the UE, also in El País.
Relevant for our discussion here is not only the typical superior and at times arrogant way the European media portray Third World countries and their leaders (if they portray them at all), but also the way Evo Morales was primarily defined as an ‘Indio’. Since the press loves to report ‘historical events’ and ‘firsts’, the election of the first indigenous president of his country (and one of the first in contemporary Latin America) provoked much special comments, descriptions, and a style of portrayal that does not characterize the description of ‘white’ (European) presidents, that is, of people more ‘like Us’ — though, as Latin-Americans, of course not quite like Us.
The press description of
Morales as an ‘
utilizar preferentemente indígena es una
opción razonable porque evita que algunas personas se puedan sentir
No es posible obviar el dato de que este diario tiene cada vez más
latinoamericanos, sobre todo a través de Internet. Pero tampoco sería
prescindir totalmente del término indio. La redactora de
Maite Rico, enviada especial a las elecciones bolivianas y con amplia
experiencia en América Latina, considera que la connotación negativa se
la da a
ese término el hablante o el lector. "No hay más que ver", añade,
"la infinidad de documentos en los que se habla de pueblos indios:
las declaraciones zapatistas, a
This passage tells us
about the Defensor del Lector (DdL) and his norms and values, about the
envoy Maite Rico, as well as about the general policy of the newspaper
to send someone to Latin America who apparently has no idea (despite
experience praised by the Ombudsman) about norms in Latin America.
all, the DdL accepts — after the critique of the readers — that the use
‘indígena’ may be ‘reasonable’. In other words, he does not agree that
imperative for a modern newspaper to follow the norm that one uses the
designation preferred by the people referred to. Rather, he only seems
to take into account that “algunas
personas se pueden sentir ofendidas”, which contextually implies
such persons may be over-sensitive, and (b) that they are only few,
turn implies (c) that most people or most Latin Americans or most
would not mind such use. More to the point from a commercial point of
course, is the argument that there are more and more readers from
The same is true for the
and her arguments. She first of all displays a fundamental ignorance
discourse and communication, when she claims that negative consequences
attributed by the speakers or the readers. She thereby ignores that
meanings change with their social context, and that if a word such as
in Latin America is more and more associated, socially and by
peoples themselves, with negative stereotypes, she as a journalist
only know this, but also act and write accordingly. If not, she is
using offensive language. Second, her argument that the notion of ‘
The retrograde use of
terms such as
Of course, the old
provocative use of ‘
Seemingly less relevant too is the way Evo Morales is portrayed. Not only are his indigenous roots and loyalties strongly emphasized, but as is often also the case for the (sexist) coverage of women politicians, there in extraordinary media interest in his clothes, and not only in the popular (populist?) European press. That Evo Morales prefers to dress in a colorful sweater and not in a traditional suit-with-tie, as most western politicians, is extensively covered and hence obviously important and relevant for the EU press. The references to his ‘chompa’ in El País range between the usual exotism in the account of ethnic others, on the one hand, and depreciative negative implications — as breaking the norms of international political etiquette — on the other hand, as we find in one of the Latin American columns of Bastenier:
6. Morales (…) que va a los actos protocolarios ataviado con un jersey de la gama más modesta de Galerías Preciados (8-1-06).
The same is true for Vargas Llosa whose attacks on the “loony left” (“la izquierda boba”) is also associated with “orgasmic enthusiasm” for the sweater of Morales (15-1-06). Javier Torrontegui is allowed to write a whole article (8-1-06), though in the less serious section Gente, on the topic, apparently of major importance for the readers of El País. This is how that article begins:
pregunta de cómo irá
vestido el presidente electo de
such commentary on his clothes, finally, are added negative comments on
Spanish pronunciation, also by Vargas Llosa, who incidentally never
made it to
the presidency of neighboring
el señor Evo Morales es
From these various passages about the coverage of Evo Morales we might conclude that El País and its journalists and columnists simply do not like Evo Morales and his politics — as they also have shown for Hugo Chávez. However, this negative coverage is different from the negative coverage of other, European (white) politicians they do not like. As is also shown by the ‘joke’ of the Spanish (conservative catholic) COPE radio journalist phoning Morales pretending to be Prime Minister Zapatero, we detect a lack of respect that is typical of sexism and racism — the other person is represented not only as a political or ethnic outgroup member, but also as inferior. The sociopolitical and conservative rejection of avoiding ‘politically incorrect’ denominations such as ‘Indio’, further confirms this lack of what could be called ‘interethnic correctness’ of a leading newspaper as El País, a crucial condition for a newspaper in a multi-ethnic society in Europe.
The Danish Anti-Muslim Cartoons
us finally examine in some more detail some of the characteristics of
Spanish press coverage of the islamophobic cartoons published, in
The Cartoon-Affair of
Conspicuously underreported in the Cartoon Affair, and also less emphasized in the many opinion articles, was the role of the Affair and its coverage in the reproduction of racism — quite consistent with the general denial of elite racism by the press, as signaled above.
the Spanish press covered this affair extensively, not least because it
construed the worldwide Muslim protests as an attack against the
opinion in general, and as an attack on the freedom of the press, in
particular. Many journalists and columnists thus represented the affair
prime example of the alleged Huntingtonian “clash of civilizations”,
than as a straightforward case of racism in the press — a seemingly
incident with a tremendous international consequences. As we shall see,
definition of this affair, namely as a case of press racism, was found
taboo and was never ever even mentioned in the media, anywhere, even by
who found the cartoons insensitive, or even an expression of
Despite hundreds of articles on the case, and many opinions, especially
those who defended the allegedly attacked freedom of the press, no
articles appeared with analysis of the growing racism in
As we have found before in earlier analysis of the coverage of racist events in the press, such events generally tend to be defined in terms of denials or mitigations, especially when the perpetrators are (more) like Us. As we have seen above, we might find articles on racism abroad, in the past, in popular neighborhoods or among right-wing extremists, but never in our own party, business, university or newspaper. Since journalists are the only professionals who control what appears in the press about themselves, it is hardly surprising that newspapers never publish about racism in their own newspaper. At most, and even then exceptionally, this may be the case for the coverage of racism of an extremist newspaper or TV station.
In sum, the coverage of the Danish cartoon affair is quite consistent with a very solid tradition of reporting ethnic affairs in general and the role of the media in such affairs in particular. More specifically, and in line with historical, deep-rooted anti-Muslim sentiments among the European elites (*Said, 1979, 1981), we find that in the same way as many Muslims viewed the cartoons as an insult of their prophet, many journalists and other elites took the affair as a test of the cherished value of the freedom of the press. That such freedom was not at all under attack and no one who could potentially limit it in Europe even hinted at such an attack, did not prevent journalists to associate international protests against islamophobic cartoons as such an attack. Let us see in some more detail how the Spanish press covered this affair.
The dominant topics in the coverage of the Cartoon-affair are organized by the familiar overall polarization strategies of emphasizing Our good things and Their bad things: On the one hand, as we see in examples (9) and (10), a very prominent focus on the Freedom of Expression as a major, if not absolute, European or Western value:
9. El diario, el principal de Dinamarca, publicó los dibujos en nombre de la libertad de expresión, después de que el autor de un libro sobre Mahoma no hubiera podido encontrar ilustradores para su obra, por temor a represalias. (El País, 31-1-06).
10. "La libertad de expresión no es negociable" (Entrevista con redactor jefe de Jyllands Posten, El País, 1-2-06)
the other hand, following the logic of polarization we find an emphasis
on the topic
of the violent protests, intolerance, fundamentalism and radicalism of
world of Islam, propagated by dictatorial regimes. More specifically,
see, as is also the case for immigration, any form of ‘outside’ action
12. Una decena de periódicos europeos han decidido reproducir las polémicas caricaturas de Mahoma publicadas inicialmente en el diario danés Jyllands-Posten, que han provocado una reacción virulenta en el mundo islámico y una tormentosa crisis diplomática. Los diarios han decidido mostrar así la solidaridad con sus colegas daneses, que ayer sufrieron una nueva amenaza de bomba, y defender la libertad de expresión. (El País, 2-2-06).
13. La libertad de expresión es fundamento de la organización social de que se han dotado los países más progresivos del planeta, y Europa en particular. (Editorial, El País, 5-2-06).
These examples show clearly how the event of a (European) press insult against Muslims is constructed as an international conflict between Good and Evil, where We defend the basic values “of the most progressive countries on the planet” against “virulent” reactions and bomb-threats. That is, as is the case with one of the cartoons, the press thus associates, without much nuance, Muslims with radicalism and terrorism. At the same time, we witness the familiar move of all racist discourse, namely blaming the victim: those who were offended, and hence possibly would deserve our sympathy are transformed into the aggressor. Obviously, in such sympathetic coverage of their very own professional group, also the journalists of the Spanish quality press hardly show any discursive distance with respect to their Danish colleagues, and thus implicitly legitimate the publication of islamophobic cartoons in name of the freedom of the press.
Throughout the month of February 2006, thus, the coverage of the (violent) protests in the Muslim world remain a prominent topic – thus hammering home, and reproducing, the century old orientalist topos of the violent Muslim and Arab.
The polarization between our democracy and freedom, on the one hand, and their undemocratic fundamentalism is the main framework for the cognitive and discursive construction of this event. The tone of the coverage and the editorials in such a case may become explicitly paternalistic if not arrogantly superior, as in the following passage of an editorial in El País, in which the others are attributed not only violence and radicalism, but also being stupid and backward — as the euphemism “precario conocimiento” suggests:
14. Si ciertos Estados árabes reclaman de las autoridades nacionales de los países acusados de blasfemar contra Mahoma una estentórea petición de excusas, debido arrepentimiento y garantía de que ello no volverá a suceder, es por su precario conocimiento de lo que es una sociedad abierta, donde la libertad incluye también caer en el error. (Editorial, El País, 5-2-06)
We see that in Eurocentric and racist polarization, negative other-presentation usually comes with positive self-presentation. Thus, we do not merely have a modest defense of what ‘We’ define as “Our” values, but at the same time a glorification of Our past — an ideological manifestation of Eurocentrism that is shared by some intellectuals from Latin America, such as El País columnist Vargas Llosa:
(…) ¿Puede llegar a ocurrir lo
mismo algún día en
other intellectuals seem to forget that the same Europe is also the
say, Napoleon, Stalin, Hitler and Milosevic, and the vastest genocides
committed by humans, both inside as well as outside of
(…) Pero creo que la razón
profunda es más
grave y que buena parte del silencio de cierta izquierda ante este
debe a que tiene serias dudas sobre cuál es la opción políticamente
este caso. ¿Echarle la culpa de todo al pasado colonialista y racista
Occidente que por su política de humillación y saqueo de los países
creó el resentimiento y el odio que hoy se vuelven contra él? ¿Defender
actitudes de los extremistas musulmanes en nombre del
¿Demostrar, acogotando la sindéresis, que detrás de todo esto están las
garras de los Estados Unidos? ¿O, mejor, evitar pringarse en un asunto
especioso y replegarse una vez más en lo seguro, lanzando las valientes
contra la guerra de Irak y la avidez de
Although the defense of
of the press is of course a touchstone of journalistic ideologies —
basis of media power — it may be formulated in slightly less radical
same is true for the representation of Them. Thus, a first editorial of
El País on the cartoon affair may be
interpreted as the official voice of
17. (…) La libertad de prensa y la libertad de expresión no deben tener más cortapisas que las que fija la ley para todos los ciudadanos, y quien se sienta ofendido o injuriado tiene el derecho a acudir a los tribunales, la única instancia que debe resolver estos conflictos. (…) El fanatismo es una planta que crece en muchas religiones, pero el mundo islámico ofrece hoy una cosecha muy extensa. (…) Creer que sólo en el mundo islámico existe la intolerancia religiosa sería un ejercicio fatuo de autocomplacencia. Pero ignorar que el integrismo religioso se expande vertiginosamente entre los creyentes musulmanes sería ponerse una venda ante la realidad. (Editorial, El País, 1-2-06).
That is, freedom of the
here not defined as absolute, but as limited by the law, and in
abuse might be sanctioned by the courts. In the same way, religious
is not limited to Islam — and hence condemned more generally. More
examples of ‘our’ religion (say, from Opus Dei in
A critical assessment of
and especially of religious fundamentalism and fanaticism, is a
progressive, atheist ideologies, and consistent with the positions of El País. However, when we examine the
total coverage of the Western (quality and popular) press of Islam, and
instance catholic and protestant fundamentalism in Europe and
In the vein of the same religious values, those journalists covering the Cartoon affair in terms of the struggle between the (their) freedom of the press and Muslim radicalism, violence and threats, might have been more balanced if they had recalled more critically the fundamental flaws their own societies.
Of course, the old topos
Arabs and Muslims as a threat had been given a new life in political,
academic discourse since the September 11 attacks on the World Trade
the current coverage is in perfect synchrony with a more general
hysteria about (Arab, Muslim) terrorism and Islamism. As predicted by
general thesis of the role of the elites in the reproduction of racism,
ideologies always are backed up by “scientific” research, in this case
of the alarmist notion of the “class of civilizations” by
18. (…) Parece que el mundo se empeña en darle la razón a Hungtinton [sic], o así lo pareciera si nos quedáramos con el estridente titular de la polémica. Van los daneses y hacen lo que ha hecho Europa desde que descubrió la carta de derechos fundamentales: ejercer su libre opinión y llevarla hasta los límites que su sistema legal le permite, un sistema legal que garantiza y protege esas mismas libertades. Además, y siguiendo una nutrida tradición de sátira religiosa, dan en el cogote a una de las grandes religiones monoteístas, quizá la menos acostumbrada a las querencias de la libertad. Y a partir de aquí, las hordas se levantan en grito, los actos de vandalismo callejero se convierten en una foto recurrente, desde el Mediterráneo hasta el Pacífico, y en los rincones del miedo, empiezan a proferirse amenazas de muerte. (Pilar Rahola, El País, 4-2-06).
That this columnist of the
newspaper El País (or the correctors)
does not know how to spell foreign names is of course irrelevant here
hardly exceptional in the Spanish press). However, that she has a very
selective, self-serving memory of European history and at the same time
emphasizes ‘our’ superiority over the “hordes” of the outgroup, is more
problematic. The familiar eurocentrist and racist schema is fully
We, the Europeans, invented the human rights, freedom, etc., whereas
backward ‘hordes’, are less used to the “exigencies of freedom.” The
“horde” implies and combines the notions of primitiveness and violence,
historically associated with the Huns, who also came from the East. The
association of Them with those who threaten and cause fear completes
picture. The focus on our historical
values as a European product of the Enlightenment, is not exclusive to
columnist and is another topos of Eurocentric discourse. As suggested
selective focus on Our (alleged) inventions of democracy obviously
reminder of less democratic European inventions of the last two
beginning with colonialism, also of the very same Muslim countries who
defined as our enemies, and continuing with fascism (Germany, Italy,
Portugal, Spain) and imperialism until quite recently, if not today —
and in Spain
the very recent dictatorship of Franco. Obviously, freedom of the press
The same column as well as
elsewhere, also in the very editorials of the same newspaper about the
affair, also feature two of the icons of Muslim threats and violence:
and Theo van Gogh. These victims of Islamism are particularly
attractive to the
symbolic elites, because they are a writer and a film maker, that is,
Us. Again, the representation is of course glaringly biased, in the
the multiple Muslim victims of the ‘West’ in general, and of Europe in
particular, are not even known or mentioned, although quite readily
19. Como pasó con Salman Rushdie, condenado a muerte por ejercer libremente su profesión, y como pasó con Teo [sic] Van Gogh, asesinado por ello, otra vez nos damos de bruces con una lectura totalitaria del islam, no sólo incapaz de respetar los mecanismos de la libertad, sino abiertamente enemigo de su práctica. (Pilar Rahola, El País, 4-2-06).
Finally, what makes El País a ‘liberal’ newspaper is that besides the dominant presence of news article after news article on Muslim violence and intolerance, and after opinion article after opinion article defending the freedom of the press, we also find occasional articles of dissidents who have a different definition of the situation.
Much of these other voices barely reach the status of a letter to the editor, as is the case for a Danish journalist, former correspondent in Spain, who does tell a bit about what El País refuses to cover during the whole month: the prevalent and increasing racism and Islamophobia in Denmark, both in politics as well as in the conservative and popular media.
From Spain itself, only a select elite of those academic specialists who more generally have access to the newspaper are allowed to formulate a different point of view, as is first the case for Professor Gemma Muñoz, a sociologist of the World of Islam and hence a specialist with a different and more detailed view of Islam and this affair than most journalists. The publication of the cartoons for her — and surely much of the coverage legitimating this publication in the name of the freedom of the press is thus evaluated as follows by her:
20. Se transmite así un peligroso mensaje que estigmatiza y humilla a una parte muy importante de la humanidad. A partir de ahí la cuestión no es religiosa, es política, porque concierne a algo tan detestable como el racismo y la xenofobia. Y con respecto a esto sí que la libertad de expresión no puede ser un valor absoluto que, desprovisto de todo sentido de la responsabilidad, se convierta en el abuso de ese privilegio. (Gema Martín Muñoz, El País, 22-2-06)
We see that she is one of
the few writers
who actually dares to pronounce the hated R-word in this case, a
of course the majority of journalists would energetically reject, as
done nearly anonymously after each academic publication on racism in
Western press. She understand that as always power corrupts and that
power corrupts absolutely, as the saying goes, and that this also
the press if freedom is defined in terms of power — as being
responsible to no
one. She is also the one who locates the notion of threat or danger not with Muslims demonstrating in the
streets, but rather with those who exacerbate ethnic tensions with
Again, adequate balanced coverage in the quality newspaper would not
included a detailed background article on racism in
Enrique Calvo, another
21. La libertad de opinión está para criticar al poder y a los poderosos, no para abusar de los débiles sometidos. Y si la prensa europea desea tomarse libertades escandalosas, que provoque a los amos de las multinacionales, en vez de hacerlo con sus siervos musulmanes. (Enrique Gil Calvo, El País, 17-2-06).
The critique of the press in this case could not have been formulated more concisely. In this and similar debates on the freedom of speech it is often forgotten that this freedom is especially a privilege of the symbolic elites — and a right especially obtained in the struggle against political control of the press. That such a right is not carte blanche to abuse of this privilege to attack, misrepresent, insult, discriminate against all those without power, and without the power of access to the media, may be clear from the results of a host of critical publications on the representation of women, minorities, immigrants, refugees, in general, and of ‘gitanos’ and gitanas’ in Spain, in particular. One may suppose that no journalist would vindicate the freedom of speech of Goebbels and his propaganda against the Jews — among others. That is, the freedom of speech is both precious, when used to fight those in power, and dangerous when excluding, ignoring or attacking those who will suffer more from the prejudices thus produced in society.
Racism is a system of dominance, of power abuse, reproduced by social practices of discrimination and sustained by ideologies shared by dominant ethnic groups. Discourse is one of these social practices, and it is at the same time through discourse that racist ideologies and practices are learned and legitimated. Especially the various discourses of the ‘symbolic elites’, such as the politicians, the journalists, professors and writers, play a leading role in this reproduction process. They are the one whose power is defined by the preferential access to public discourse, and hence, indirectly to the minds of the people.
The media in general, and the press in particular, play a key role among the symbolic elite institutions. What most politicians and most scholars know about immigrants and minorities, they also see on TV or read in their newspapers, unless they are themselves engaged in research on the topic.
Indeed, such research
and again that the press is part of the problem of racism, rather than
the solution. Newsrooms in
Application of these
the Spanish Press generally confirms these conclusions, but with some
Despite the absence of openly racist media, this does not mean that the Spanish press, in its own way, does not also contribute to the quickly spreading racism and prejudices in Spanish society.
First of all, as is the
case in the
The most conspicuous contribution to prevailing stereotypes and prejudices are undoubtedly the dominant topics of the coverage, such as the alarmist emphasis on border control and the ‘invasion’ of ‘pateras’ from North Africa, immigration mafia, and as we have seen in the coverage of the ‘assault’ on Melilla, the repeated attempts of African youth to enter the country. The same is true for the extensive coverage of immigration policies, immigration laws, regularization, and so on — emphasizing the general opinion that immigrants and immigration are a serious problem, and not a boon for the country. Secondly, the emphasis on ‘papeles’ conveys a dominant picture of immigrants who are not only ‘sin-papeles’, but also ‘illegal’ — that is, one step removed from being criminal, while breaking the law. On the other hand, unlike the rest of the European press, there is — as yet — little emphasis on ‘ethnic crime’. Thirdly, less prominently, but no doubt increasing are the stories about the actual presence of immigrants among ‘us’, and especially about their cultural differences and threats (typically religion, Islam, head scarves, etc.).
On the other hand, not topicalized, as is also the case
As we have seen in the
The denial of (media)
been most clearly shown in the coverage, also in quality newspaper El País, of the affair of the Danish
cartoons portraying Mohammed. Especially in this extensively covered
that is in the alleged threat of the interests (freedom) of the press
we see most clearly how the press represents ethnic events. Thus, all
positive things of ‘our’ democratic European values, ideologies, and
highlighted, our own racism and xenophobia ignored or denied, and their
violence, intolerance, threats, backwardness, etc, dramatically
generalized, as if all Muslims were rabid fundamentalists. Topics,
lexical style, rhetoric, argumentation and so on are systematically
favor of such a deeply ideologically and historically based elite
between Us in
It is in this way, how the quality press reproduces racism, also in Spain and especially also among those who will need to give the good example, namely the other symbolic elites — that is, those who, literally, have everything to say in society, and hence have vast influence on the public at large.
R., & Lutterman, K. G. (1979). Discrimination in organizations.
Chillida, G. (2002). El antisemitismo en España. La imagen del Judío
R. A., Glock, C. Y., Piazza, T., & Suelze, M. (1983). The anatomy
Otazu, M. (2002). Los otros y nosotros. Imágenes del inmigrante
en Ciutat Vella de Barcelona.
L., & Solomos, J. (Eds.). (2000). Theories of Race and Racism. A
Bañón Hernández, A. M. (1996). Racismo, discurso periodístico y didáctica de la lengua. Almería: Universidad de Almería, Servicio de Publicaciones.
Hernández, A. M. (2002). Discurso e inmigración. Propuestas para el
un debate social. Prólogo de Teun A. van Dijk.
Banton, M. P. (1994). Discrimination. Buckingham: Open University Press.
Griñán, P. (1997). Extranjería, racismo y xenofobia en
J., & Verschueren, J. (1998). Debating diversity: Analysing the
B. R. (Ed.). (2001). Race and racism.
N. J. (2000). Black justice? Race, criminal justice and identity.
M., & Solomos, J. (Eds.). (1999a). Ethnic and racial studies today.
M., & Solomos, J. (Eds.). (1999b). Racism.
M., & Solomos, J. (2004). Researching race and racism.
Buezas, T. (1989). Los racistas son los otros: Gitanos, minorías y
humanos en los textos escolares.
Buezas, T. (1990a). El racismo que viene: Otros pueblos y culturas
profesores y alumnos.
Buezas, T. (1990b). España racista? voces payas sobre los gitanos.
Buezas, T. (1993). El crimen racista de Aravaca.
Buezas, T. (1995). Crece el racismo, también la solidaridad los valores
juventud en el umbral
Buezas, T. (1997). Racismo y solidaridad de espanoles, portugueses y
latinoamericanos: Los jóvenes ante otros pueblos y culturas.
Buezas, T. (2000). Inmigración y racismo. Así sienten los jóvenes
Buezas, T. (2001). Inmigración y universidad prejuicios racistas y
Buezas, T. (2003). La escuela ante la inmigración y el racismo.
de educación intercultural.
E. (2003). Encyclopedia of race and ethnic studies.
Castiello, C. (2002). Los desafíos de la educación intercultural: migraciones y curriculum. Universidad de Oviedo: Tesis Doctoral.
L.R. (2001). Covering immigration. Popular images and the politics of
F. (2001). El Ejido la ciudad-cortijo : Claves socioeconómicas
S. (2000). Race and gender discrimination at work.
IOE. (2001). No quieren ser menos! Exploración sobre la discriminación
de los inmigrantes en España.
S. (Ed.). (2000). Ethnic Minorities and the Media.
M. J. (2001).
A. W., & Bonilla-Silva, E. (Eds.). (2003). White out. The
significance of racism.
J. F., & Gaertner, S. L. (Eds.). (1986). Prejudice, discrimination,
El-Madkouri Maataoui (2005). La imagen del Otro. Lo Árabe en la prensa española. Tesis de doctorado. Universidad Complutense: Departamento de Estudios Árabes e Islámicos.
P. J. M. (1991). Knowledge and resistance: Black women talk about
racism in the
P., & Goldberg, D.T. (Eds.). (2002). Race critical theories text
J. (1983). Time and the other: How anthropology makes its object.
J. R. (2000). Racist
J. R., Vera, H., & Batur, P. (2001). White racism the basics.
Martínez, A. (2004). La construcción sociocultural
Martínez, A., & Sáez Carreras, J. (1998).
Giménez, L. (2001). Actitudes hacia la inmigración. Relación entre las
cualitativas y cuantitativas.
D. T. (1997). Racial subjects: Writing on race in
D. T. (2002). The racial state.
D. T., & Solomos, J. (Ed.). (2002). A Companion to racial and
D. L. (1981). Cognitive processes in stereotyping and intergroup
P. G., & Husband, C. (1974). Racism and the mass media: A study of
of the mass media in the formation of white beliefs and attitudes in
Izquierdo, A. (1996). La inmigración inesperada. La población extranjera en España (1991-1995).
S. (1992). BrandSätze. Rassismus im Alltag. DISS-Studien.
S. (1998). Der Spuk ist nicht vorbei völkisch-nationalistische
öffentlichen Diskurs der Gegenwart.
S., & Link, J. (1993). Die vierte Gewalt. Rassismus und die Medien.
P. G. (1988). Power and prejudice: The politics and diplomacy of racial
Bilbao, C. (1999). El grito
M. (2002). The great wells of democracy the meaning of race in American
Rojo, L., Gómez Esteban, C., Arranz, F., & Gabilondo, A., (Eds.)
Hablar y dejar hablar. Sobre racismo y xenofobia.
Veiga, U. (1997). La integración social de los inmigrantes extranjeros
Matouschek, B., Januschek, F., & Wodak, R. (1995). Notwendige Massnahmen gegen Fremde? Genese und Formen von rassistischen Diskursen der Differenz. Wien: Passagen Verlag.
M., & Marre, D. (Eds.). (2001). Multiculturalismos y género.
M. (1998). La inmigración en Espana: Retos y propuestas.
Pettigrew, T. F. (1982). Prejudice. Belknap Press.
Ramos, F. (2004). Media & Migrants. A critical analysis of Spanish
Irish discourses on immigration.
Reisigl, M., & Wodak, R. (Eds.). (2000). The semiotics of racism. Approaches in critical discourse analysis. Wien: Passagen.
M., & Wodak, R. (2001). Discourse and discrimination rhetorics of
J. E. (2004). (Mis)Representing Islam. The racism and rhetoric of
M. (1981). Coups and earthquakes. Reporting the world to
Ruhrmann, G. (Ed.). (1995). Das Bild der Ausländer in der Öffentlichkeit. Eine theoretische und empirische Analyse zur Fremdenfeindlichkeit. (The image of foreigners in the public sphere. A theoretical and empirical analysis of xenophobia). Opladen: Leske
Olabúenaga, J. I., Ruiz Vieytez, E. J., & Vicente Torrado, T. L.
Los inmigrantes irregulares en España. La vida por un sueño.
Racismo (2000). Informe anual 2000 sobre el racismo en el Estado
E. W. (1979). Orientalism.
E. W. (1981). Covering Islam: how the media and the experts determine
see the rest of the world.
D. O., Sidanius, J., & Bobo, L. (Eds.). (2000). Racialized
debate about racism in
G., & Van Dijk, T. A. (Eds. ). (1987). Discourse and
C. (1995). Discriminación racial en el mercado de trabajo.
C. (1995). Racismo, y discriminación en el mercado
Solé, C. (Ed.). (1996). Racismo, etnicidad y educación intercultural. Lleida: Edicions Universitat de Lleida.
J., & Back, L. (1996). Racism and society.
J., & Wrench, J. (Eds.). (1993). Racism and migration in
Wal, J. (Ed.). (2002). Racism and cultural diversity in the mass media.
overview of research and examples of good practice in the EU Member
Dijk, T. A. (1984). Prejudice in discourse an analysis of ethnic
cognition and conversation.
Dijk, T. A. (1987). Communicating racism: Ethnic prejudice in thought
Dijk, T. (1991). Racism and the Press.
Dijk, T. A. (1993). Elite discourse and racism.
Dijk, T. (1998). Ideology: A Multidisciplinary Approach.
Dijk, T. A. (2003). Dominación étnica y racismo discursivo en España y
M., & Potter, J. (1992). Mapping the language of racism: Discourse
legitimation of exploitation.
M. (Ed.). (1994). Racisme et xénophobie en
M. (1998). Le racisme: Une introduction.
R. (1996). Disorders of discourse.
R., & Van Dijk, T. A. (Eds.). (2000). Racism at the Top.
Discourses on Ethnic Issues in Six European States.
 Back & Solomos, 2000; Boxill, 2001; Bulmer & Solomos, 1999a,b, 2004; Cashmore, 2003; Doane & Bonilla-Silva, 2003; Essed, 1991; Essed & Goldberg, 2002; Feagin, 2000; Feagin, Vera & Batur, 2001; García Martínez, 2004; Goldberg, 1997, 2002; Goldberg & Solomos, 2002; Lauren, 1998; Marable, 2002; Sears, Sidanius & Bobo, 2000; Solomos & Back, 1996; Solomos & Wrench, 1993; Wieviorka, 1994, 1998
 For studies of racist discourse, see for detail, see Blommaert & Verschueren, 1998; Jäger, 1992, 1998; Matouschek, Januschek & Wodak, 1995; Reisigl & Wodak, 2000, 2001; Van Dijk, 1984, 1987a, 1991, 1993, 2005; Wetherell & Potter, 1992; Wodak, 1996; Wodak & Van Dijk, 2000).
 Apostle, Glock, Piazza & Suelze, 1983; Dovidio & Gaertner, 1986; Hamilton, 1981; Pettigrew, 1982; Pickering, 2001; Van Dijk, 1984, 1987a, 1998).
 Alvarez & Lutterman,
1979; Banton, 1994; Britton, 2000; Cohn, 2000;
Dovidio & Gaertner, 1986; Essed, 1991;
 Chávez, 2001; Cottle, 2000; Hartmann & Husband, 1974; Jäger & Link, 1993; Ruhrmann, 1995; Smitherman-Donaldson & Van Dijk, 1987); Ter Wal, 2002; Van Dijk, 1991, 1995).
 For studies on immigration, racism and anti-Semitism in Spain, see, e.g., the following books: Álvarez Chillida (2002); Aramburu Otazo, (2002); Bañón Hernández (1996, 2002); Barbadillo Griñan (1997); Calvo Buezas (1989, 1990a, 1990b, 1993, 1995, 1997, 2000, 2001, 2003); Castiello (2002); Checa (2001); Colectivo IOE, (2001); Criado (2001); García Martínez (2004); García Martínez & Sáez Carreras (1998); Gimeno Giménez (2001); Izquierdo (1996); Manzanos Bilbao (1999); Martín Rojo, Gómez Esteban, Arranz, & Gabilondo (1994); Martínez Vega (1997); Nash & Marre (2001); Pajares (1998); Ruiz Olabúenaga, Ruiz Vieytez, & Vicente Torrado (1999); S.O.S. Racismo (2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004); Solé(1995, 1996); Van Dijk (2003).
 See, e.g. Bañón Hernández (1996, 2002); El-Madkouri Maataoui (2005); Prieto Ramos (2004); Van Dijk (2003).
 The search engine of El País does not allow to search more than a limited number of key words at the same time, so there is no way we can know the exact number, whereas accumulated separate searches are impossible because of much overlap: articles that use different words to refer to immigrants of various backgrounds.
 More generally, it should be observed, for methodological reasons, that the search engines of the Spanish newspapers could be improved upon. First of all, they are all different, making access by readers and researchers more difficult. They often do not allow Boolean searches, or the use of abbreviations (like “inmigra”) to search for many forms of a word (inmigrante, inmigrantes, inmigración, etc.). Also, they are often very unreliable, producing the same frequencies when one adds a search term. It should therefore be recommended that all newspapers use a simple Google-like search input of Boolean expressions, and all types of contents to be searched - headlines, bodies, different sections, etc. - (as is the case for the best of the engines, that of El País). Lacking in all media is a possible search of keywords. Now, with only a word-based search, many articles are found that have nothing or little to do with what is being searched. So, articles should be stored, like scientific articles or books, with keywords or ‘subject terms’, for instance in an xml framework. Thus, in our case, all articles should have had a keyword ‘immigration’ or ‘minorities’, combined with some others, such as work, housing, etc.