Satirizing international crises. The depiction of the Ukraine, Greek debt, and migration crises in political satire

  • Cordula Nitsch University of Augsburg, Department of Media, Knowledge and Communication
  • Dennis Lichtenstein Austrian Academy of Sciences, Institute for Comparative Media and Communication Studies
Keywords: political satire, international crises, Ukraine crisis, Greek debt crisis, migration crisis, crisis coverage, content analysis, media functions

Abstract

In international crises, the media’s information and orientation function is particularly important in the public sphere. While the news media’s crisis coverage has been well researched and often criticized, very little is known about the depiction of crises in political satire. This study examines how German satirical shows (n = 154 episodes, 2014–2016) covered the Ukraine, Greek debt, and migration crises and whether or not these depictions corresponded to news media logic. In its attention to the crises, satire follows news media’s conflict orientation. Parallels with news media logic also relate to the information function because the predominant frame elements in satirical shows mirror governmental positions. This is different regarding the orientation function. In their evaluation of the frame elements, satirical shows’ criticism of governmental positions and their support for minority positions create a counter-narrative for the crises. Thus, satirical shows provide added value for public discourse.

Published
2019-12-03
How to Cite
Nitsch, C., & Lichtenstein, D. (2019). Satirizing international crises. The depiction of the Ukraine, Greek debt, and migration crises in political satire. Studies in Communication Sciences, 19(1), 85-103. https://doi.org/10.24434/j.scoms.2019.01.007