Representations of the Mapuche in four Chilean newspapers (2010-2015)
The mass media are a pervasive source of information, influence and sense making in present day societies. More specifically, nationally available newspapers can be seen as a source of information that influences public opinion and shapes representations of social issues among both majority and minority group members. For this reason, we argue that understanding the media representations of the Mapuche indigenous group in Chilean national newspapers is important to understand the dynamics of present day intergroup conflict between Mapuche and non-Mapuche people. Using lexicometrical analysis (i.e. a type of textual analysis that combines both quantitative and qualitative aspects) we analyzed 2840 news pieces from four different Chilean national newspapers published since 2010 to 2015 related with the Mapuche. The results show that media representations of this group are mostly negative. More concretely, there is an invisibility of the ethnic component when covering the current Mapuche-Chilean conflict and there is a strong focus on criminal and ‘terrorist’ acts associated with this group. Furthermore, the editorial lines of each newspapers lead to some subtleties in the way the Mapuche are portrayed. The results are discussed in terms of their consequences for present day intergroup relations and conflict maintenance within Chilean society.
**Ana Figueiredo is an assistant professor at the Public Policy Research Center at the Universidad Mayor in Chile