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Beyond the Refugee Crisis how the UK news media represent asylum seekers across national boundaries

Cooper, G. ORCID: 0000-0003-2367-8626, Blumell, L. E. ORCID: 0000-0003-4608-9269 & Bunce, M. ORCID: 0000-0002-4924-8993 (2021). Beyond the Refugee Crisis how the UK news media represent asylum seekers across national boundaries. The International Communication Gazette, 83(3), pp. 195-216. doi: 10.1177/1748048520913230


Migration is one of the most pressing, divisive issues in global politics today, and media play a crucial role in how communities understand and respond. This study examines how UK newspapers (n = 974) and popular news websites (n = 1044) reported on asylum seekers throughout 2017. It contributes to previous literature in two important ways. First, by examining the ‘new normal’ of daily news coverage in the wake of the 2015 ‘refugee crisis’ in Europe. Second, by looking at how asylum seekers from different regions are represented. The content analysis finds significant variations in how asylum seekers are reported, including terminology use and topics they are associated with. The paper also identifies important commonalities in how all asylum seekers are represented - most notably, the dominance of political elites as sources across all media content. It argues that Entman’s ‘cascade network model’ can help to explain this, with elites in one country able to influence transnational reports.

Publication Type: Article
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
J Political Science > JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
Departments: School of Communication & Creativity > Journalism
SWORD Depositor:
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