Consonance and Diversity of Voices and Viewpoints: A New Paradigm to Study Actors’ Cumulative Influence on Viewpoints in Immigration News
Social groups debating contested issues aim to talk in the media to convey their opinions. The extent to which their voices trigger the presence of their views in the news can be evaluated through the analysis of consonance, which is the co-occurrence, in the same news item, of an actor’s voice and her/his preferred viewpoint on the debated topic. However, consonance must be analyzed with diversity to pinpoint which speakers actually get the chance to convey their views. In this study, consonance and diversity were investigated in the context of newspaper coverage of immigration in Belgium, Germany, Italy, and the United Kingdom (2013–2014). The results show that national authorities, immigrants, proimmigration nongovernmental organizations, and radical right-wing politicians have the potential to trigger their preferred views on immigration when talking in the news, but it is authorities who mostly get the chance to speak and put forward their favorite viewpoints.