La reputación mediática de la Unión Europea en la prensa española (2000-2018) / The media reputation of the European Union in the Spanish press (2000-2018)

Cecilia Sales Piñeiro, Paul Capriotti-Peri

Resumen


Resumen

Esta investigación corresponde al campo de la comunicación en el sector de las instituciones públicas. Se estudia la reputación mediática de la Unión Europea (UE) en los principales diarios españoles en el período 2000-2018. A partir de los preceptos de la agenda setting y de los principios de la reputación mediática, se realiza un análisis de contenido para determinar el nivel de presencia y favorabilidad mediática de la institución. Ello permitirá evaluar cómo los medios de comunicación españoles presentan a la UE ante los ciudadanos españoles, contribuyendo a la formación de la opinión y percepción pública. Los resultados obtenidos muestran que la UE tiene una baja visibilidad mediática general, ya que a pesar de que la cantidad de noticias publicadas es buena, la relevancia de estas noticias no tiene la suficiente importancia. Además, la favorabilidad mediática en España puede considerarse ligeramente desfavorable, ya que las noticias tienen una tendencia global negativa. Estos resultados no son acordes con el desempeño que realiza la institución y con la incidencia que tiene en la vida de los ciudadanos españoles. Una imagen publicada que dificulta a la institución la creación de una esfera pública favorable y su necesaria legitimidad social.

Palabras claves: reputación mediática, visibilidad mediática, favorabilidad mediática, instituciones públicas, comunicación institucional, Unión Europea.

Abstract

This paper belongs to the field of communication in the public institution sector. It aims to study the European Union’s media reputation in the leading Spanish outlets in the 2000-2018 period. As the institution has continued to acquire competencies and regulate the activity of Member States, the EU’s communication with its citizens has represented a source of debate inside and outside the institution. In multiple areas of communication, there is a need to bring this supra-institution closer to citizens through more effective communicative policies. The general aim of this paper is to know the EU’s media reputation in Spanish printed press between the years 2000 and 2018. Taking into account the precepts of agenda setting and the principles of media reputation (Capriotti, 2012), a content analysis is carried out to determine the level of media presence and favourability of the institution. This will make it possible to evaluate how the Spanish media present the EU to Spanish citizens, contributing to the formation of public opinion and perception.Due to its long time span, the analysis has been divided into three periods. The first period (Euphoria) goes from 2000 (two years before the implementation of the euro) to the outbreak of the financial crisis in 2007. The second period (Crisis) begins with the global financial crisis of 2008 and ends with the timid beginnings of economic stabilisation in 2014. Finally, the third period (Post-crisis) spans the interval from 2015 to 2018, which sees the eruption and progression of a major social and values crisis in the institution and European society.The general results obtained show that the EU has low visibility in Spanish printed press. In spite of accurate news coverage, in certain periods and years, newsworthy events are not presented to the reader with enough relevance for the news item or institution to gain the notoriety required to be publicly important.In addition, the media favourability in Spain can be considered slightly unfavourable, since the news has an overall negative trend. These results are not consistent with the performance of the institution and the impact it has on the lives of Spanish citizens. A published image that makes it difficult for the institution to create a favourable public sphere and its necessary social legitimacy. According to different authors (Meyer, 1999 and De Vreese, 2003, 2005), the conclusions show that news on the EU fails to interest media outlets, conditioning the EU's visibility and public perception.Regardless of how interested the media may be in the EU, the strategic and communicative role this media plays, when it comes to the level of knowledge that the citizens have about the EU, cannot be ignored. The physical and mental distance of European institutions, as well as their legal, political and structural nature, put media outlets in the position of intermediaries. Thus, the media, as an actor with a voice of its own, is configured as a shaper of opinion, culture, identity and political ideas. In their professional routines, media companies construct determined narratives which bear directly —as the only reality— on citizens’ perception (McCombs and Shaw, 1972; Shaw, 1979).With the majority of Spanish citizens lacking direct experience, the EU’s communication and interaction with the citizens is left in the hands of the media’s financial and ideological profitability. A communicative context which potentially puts the institution’s public relevance, credibility and trustworthiness at risk and, thus, a situation which fosters emotional distance between the EU and Spanish citizens.

Keywords: media reputation, media visibility, media favourability, public institutions, institutional communication, European Union.

 


Citas


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