Disempowered by the media: causes and consequences of the lack of media voice of Roma communities

Vera Messing, G. Bernáth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Roma communities have experienced widespread historical exclusion in most European countries. The media can be a powerful instrument of a group’s inclusion into the mental map of a society, or, on the contrary, it can contribute to the group’s exclusion and disempowerment. This article builds on a series of content and discursive analyses of the news media’s coverage of Hungarian Roma communities since 1993, interviews with stakeholders and focus group discussions in Roma communities. It scrutinises media reporting about Roma and argues that, in general, the scope and the agenda of Roma’s portrayal coincide with mainstream society’s stereotypes about the group. The article will additionally look at the media’s disempowering role from two perspectives: on the one hand, the extent to which Roma have access to influencing media content, and on the other hand, it will consider the role of minority communities in challenging stereotypical images.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)650-667
Number of pages18
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2 2017



  • discourse analysis
  • empowerment
  • Hungary
  • media coverage
  • Roma
  • struggle for representation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

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