One of the difficulties faced by the modern European society is to recognize and to perceive itself fully as multicultural. In this context, the audiovisual media can play a major role. But at the moment there seems to be a clear distance between the reality of things and their reflection that the media referring to minorities.
Unequal and insufficient representation of immigrants and minorities in the European mass media, in particular television, is a fact widely and regularly confirmed by more than twenty years of research.
As it has been summarized by the Dutch linguist T. A. Van Dijk, working on the relationship between racism and the mass media, "the media, today as well that 50 or 100 years ago, tend to assimilate foreigners, immigrants, refugees, or minorities to a problem and refer to 'them' rather than as an integral part of ’we.’ However, this resume echoes an idea put forward by E. Mace that "representation in mass media reflects, at one point, specific national collective imaginary tensions" (Mace, 2006 b: 115).
Thus, in recent years, the media, and especially television, were established in Europe as one of the privileged place where the question of the relationship between the majority and minority components of society has been raised, place all the more interesting that it has a dual status: both to fight challenge and showcase it.
In this essay, I am trying to first to identify how the question of the representation of minorities in the mass media is a "public issue," as well as the institutional treatment that it has generated over the past decade. Facing more than mixed stock of various reasons to consider this issue, I will then examine on a few of the reasons that may explain the persistence of a "European lag' in the media representation of minority groups.
At the crossing of reflections concerning the formation of public issues, the foundations of the questions of representation, the relationship between media and society as well as reconfigurations of the current ethnic boundaries in European society, this brief essay commenting the discussion restricted to the question of minorities representation in mass media, will allow updating of the broader trends of the report of the European minority issues.
This essay, thus, offers to explore media initiatives for populations in situation of minority. In line with research on the mass media» and in particular those carried out byte Minority Media team, this essay is devoted to mass media created by and for migrant populations and their children, but also by people who share a memory of mobility, like the Roma.
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