City Research Online

Framing of policy responses to migrant horticultural labour shortages during Covid-19 in the Italian print media

Carnibella, F. & Wells, R. ORCID: 0000-0002-0329-2120 (2022). Framing of policy responses to migrant horticultural labour shortages during Covid-19 in the Italian print media. Journal of Rural Studies, 95, pp. 278-293. doi: 10.1016/j.jrurstud.2022.09.007


The Covid-19 pandemic led to a global food crisis. Like previous food crises how the debate is framed by food policy actors can have a bearing on policy outcomes. This study researches how the policy responses to migrant horticultural labour shortages, due to the pandemic, were framed in the Italian print media and how this relates to longer-term food policy making. Data were gathered from the six highest-circulation Italian daily newspapers. The coverage was dominated by left-leaning outlets and peaked in relation to Covid-19 recovery policies and political processes. Farmer industry bodies were the most quoted group, and the legalisation of undocumented migrant workers was the most frequently discussed policy response. A frames analysis was conducted and identified three principal frames: food security, worker exploitation and immigration. The worker exploitation and immigration frames were most frequently used by left-leaning newspapers, while centre-right papers used the food security frame the most often. The results suggest that media framing could contribute to both policy change, helping to open policy windows, as well as policy lock-ins, side-lining certain debates, actors and policy solutions. The research aims to contribute to growing empirical work which seeks to understand the impact of Covid-19 on migrant agricultural workers and food policy.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2022. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license
Publisher Keywords: Agriculture, Covid-19, Food policy, Italy, Media analysis, Migrant labour
Subjects: J Political Science > JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Healthcare Services Research & Management
[thumbnail of Framing of policy responses to migrant horticultural labour shortages durin.pdf]
Text - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (1MB) | Preview


Add to AnyAdd to TwitterAdd to FacebookAdd to LinkedinAdd to PinterestAdd to Email


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics

Actions (login required)

Admin Login Admin Login