Conférence / “Navigating political polarization in news production. The case of Italy” (Sciences po Toulouse, 1er avril 2022, 14h-16h)

Navigating political polarization in news production. The case of Italy

Sergio Splendore (Università degli Studi di Milano), professeur invité à Sciences Po Toulouse

Vendredi 1er Avril (14h-16h)

Sciences Po Toulouse (salle MB306) 

La présentation fera l’objet d’une retransmission vidéo (lien sur simple demande : olivier.baisnee[at] 


This study looks at political polarization from the perspective of journalists, counterbalancing the tendency to investigate the phenomenon only from the elite and mass polarization perspectives. By asking: how do journalists conceive and perceive political polarization in their media environment? And how do they navigate it in their daily work?, the article provides empirical data, collected interviewing 40 Italian political journalists that work in leading news media, shedding light on what main factors shape their perception of political polarization, as well as which strategies they adopt to deal with it. The Italian journalistic context represents a particularly relevant case study for its level of partisanship. Among conceptions that Italian journalists reveal about polarization, what we could define as “media polarization” is discussed. Moreover, the research identifies five main strategies adopted by Italian journalists in their confrontation with a polarized environment: mitigating, aligning, nurturing, creating, and ignoring polarization. By employing qualitative methods of research  and focusing on journalists as the subject of research, the article suggests new perspectives through which analyze, conceive and study the topic of political polarization.