This paper investigates the impact of local exposure to the migration crisis events on the local news market. Exploiting a narrow geographical setting, this study explores a policy dating June 2015, whereby French authorities introduced militarized controls at the Italian frontier. This resulted into a consistent push back of the irregular crossings of migrants and asylum seekers to the Italian land. Collecting approximately fifty thousand local news in the interested areas of Liguria (Italy) between 2011 and 2019, this study first documents that the backlog of migrants in the Italian border area translated into a mediatically important event in the most exposed municipalities. Secondly, media slant towards right-wing, anti-immigrant discourse is assessed, and found to be relatively higher in the areas least involved by the border controls. Exploring further this framing dimension, results allow to the inclusion of local versus national news traffic. The effect is found to depend on local news penetration, together with the incumbent ideology in the target audience. Finally, the study documents that right-wing slant and voting preferences share the same direction, and a similar broad pattern is also reflected hate-crime trends.
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