Heroes or criminals? The legitimacy of humanitarian organisations rescuing lives in the Central Mediterranean Sea after 2017
Catena Mancuso, M. and Signorelli, V. 2021. Heroes or criminals? The legitimacy of humanitarian organisations rescuing lives in the Central Mediterranean Sea after 2017. Journal of Italian Cinema and Media Studies.
|Authors||Catena Mancuso, M. and Signorelli, V.|
Since late 2016, NGOs operating in the Mediterranean have been at the centre of a campaign of delegitimisation and criminalisation culminating with former Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini's 2018 NGO ban, which de facto erased the presence of humanitarian search and rescue operations and left the national coastguards to deal with an unprecedented migration crisis. Drawing upon discourse analysis of Italian and international news media articles and informed by semi-structured interviews with NGO representatives, this study investigates the implications of such media-driven public hostility. The results are threefold: first, the climate of suspicion surrounding NGOs has damaged them profoundly and led to a dramatic increase in deaths. Consequently, second, NGO's ability to present themselves publicly as legitimate has been heavily limited. Last, it is fundamental to investigate the range of legitimation strategies all organisations can use when victims of a media-led scandal or a smear campaign are legitimised by political institutions.
|Journal||Journal of Italian Cinema and Media Studies|
|Publication process dates|
|Accepted||29 Mar 2021|
|Deposited||16 Apr 2021|
|Copyright holder||© 2021 The Authors|
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