Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …

Communications

The European Journal of Communication Research

Ed. by Averbeck-Lietz, Stefanie / d'Haenens, Leen


IMPACT FACTOR 2017: 0.744
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 1.147

CiteScore 2017: 1.49

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 0.703
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2017: 0.736

Online
ISSN
1613-4087
See all formats and pricing
More options …
Volume 43, Issue 3

Issues

Refugees in the news: Comparing Belgian and Swedish newspaper coverage of the European refugee situation during summer 2015

Rozane De Cock / Stefan Mertens / Ebba Sundin / Lutgard Lams / Valeriane Mistiaen / Willem Joris / Leen d’Haenens
Published Online: 2018-08-02 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/commun-2018-0012

Abstract

This comparative content analysis of Belgian and Swedish newspaper coverage of the ‘refugee situation’ in 2015 (N=898) revolves around responsibility indicators, news actor characteristics, and thematic emphasis. As they are a potential influential factor in the public-opinion formation process, the studying of media portrayals is an essential first step in investigating the dynamic interplay between media discourse and societal reactions. Belgium and Sweden differ with respect to migration policy, integration indicators, and the number of incoming refugees. They also differ in terms of journalistic cultural values. As a result, they make for an excellent case study of intercultural differences and similarities in how refugees are reported on. Our analysis made clear that Belgian news coverage shows regional diversity, with Francophone Belgian journalists showing more tolerance towards migrants and thus tending to be more in line with their Swedish counterparts. Still, refugees are seldom allowed to speak for themselves. This warrants attention and action by news professionals.

Keywords: Refugees; newspapers; Migrant Integration Index; Sweden; Belgium; content analysis

References

  • Baker, P., Gabrielatos, C., & McEnery, T. (2013). Discourse analysis and media attitudes: The representation of Islam in the British press. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar

  • Benson, R., & Wood, T. (2015). Who says what or nothing at all? Speakers, frames and frameless quotes in unauthorized immigration news in the UK, Norway, and France. American Behavioral Scientist, 59(7), 802–821.Web of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • Berry, M., Garcia-Blanco, I., & Moore, K. (2015). Press coverage of the refugee and migrant crisis in the EU: A content analysis of five European countries. Cardiff: School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies.Google Scholar

  • Billiet, J., Maddens, B., & Frognier, A. P. (2006). Does Belgium still exist? Differences in political culture between Flemish and Walloons. West European Politics, 29, 912–932.Google Scholar

  • Chouliaraki, L., & Zaborowski, R. (2017). Voice and community in the 2015 refugee crisis: A content analysis of news coverage in eight European countries. The International Communication Gazette, 79(6–7), 613–635.Google Scholar

  • CGRS, Office of the Commissioner General for Refugees and Stateless Persons (2015). Asylum statistics – Survey 2015. Retrieved December 7, 2017 from www.cgrs.be/en/news/asylum-statistics-survey-2015.Google Scholar

  • De Cleen, B., Zienkowski, J., Smets, K., Dekie, A., & Vandevoordt, R. (2017). Constructing the ‘refugee crisis’ in Flanders. Continuities and adaptations of discourses on asylum and migration. In M. Barlai, B. Fähnrich, C. Griessler & M. Rhomberg (Eds.), The migrant crisis: European perspectives and national discourses (pp. 59–78). Berlin: LIT Verlag.Google Scholar

  • De Cock, R., & Du Pont, K. (2016). Comparison of news reporting on Islam and Muslims in Wallonia and France. In S. Mertens & H. de Smaele (Eds.), Representations of Islam in the news. A cross-cultural analysis (pp. 109–130). Lanham: Lexington Books.Google Scholar

  • d’Haenens, L., & Bink, S. (2007). Islam in the Dutch press: With special attention to the Algemeen Dagblad. Media, Culture and Society, 29(1), 135–149.Google Scholar

  • European Commission (2016). Standard Eurobarometer 85, May. Public opinion in the European Union. Brussels.Google Scholar

  • Eurostat (2014). Migrant Integration Statistics 2014. Retrieved June 9, 2016 from http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php/Migrant_integration_statistics.Google Scholar

  • Eurostat (2015). Migrant Integration Statistics 2015. Retrieved June 9, 2016 from http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php/Migrant_integration_statistics.Google Scholar

  • Eurostat (2016a). Asylum in the EU member states. Record number of over 1.2 million first time asylum seekers registered in 2015. Retrieved September 7, 2017 from http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/web/products-press-releases/-/3-04032016-AP.Google Scholar

  • Eurostat (2016b). Asylum in the EU member states. More than 410 000 first time asylum seekers registered in the third quarter of 2015. Retrieved September 7, 2017 from http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php/Asylum_quarterly_report.Google Scholar

  • Fotopoulos, S., & Kaimaklioti, M. (2016). Media discourse on the refugee crisis: On what have the Greek, German and British press focused? European View, 15, 265–279.Google Scholar

  • Hofstede, G. (1980). Culture’s consequences: International differences in work-related values. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.Google Scholar

  • Hofstede, G. (1997). Cultures and organizations: Software of the mind. New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar

  • Gans, H. J. (2011). Multiperspectival news revisited: Journalism and representative democracy. Journalism, 12(1), 3–13.Web of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • Jacobs, L., & Hooghe, M. (2015). Worden we overspoeld door immigratie(nieuws)? Een onderzoek naar de berichtgeving over immigratie in de Vlaamse televisiejournaals. [Are we being flooded by immigration (news)? A study on the news coverage of immigration in Flemish television news]. Nieuwsbrief Steunpunt Media.Google Scholar

  • Jacobsen, S. J., Jensen, T. G., Vit, K., & Weibel, K. (2013). Analysis of Danish media setting and framing of Muslims, Islam and racism (working paper). Retrieved September 10, 2017 from https://pure.sfi.dk/ws/files/224036/WP_10_2013.pdf.Google Scholar

  • Jones, M. (2007). Hofstede – Culturally questionable? Paper presented at Oxford Business & Economics Conference, Oxford, June 24–26, 2007.Google Scholar

  • Len-Rios, M. E., Rodgers, S., Thorson, E., & Doyle, Y. (2005). Representation of women in news and photos: Comparing content to perceptions. Journal of Communication, 55(1), 152–168.Google Scholar

  • Lams, L. (2018). Discursive constructions of the summer 2015 refugee crisis: A comparative analysis of French, Dutch, Belgian Francophone and British center-of-right press narratives. Journal of Applied Journalism and Media Studies, 7(1), 103–127.Google Scholar

  • Leong, C. H., & Ward, C. (2006). The influence of cultural values on attitudes toward immigrants and multiculturalism: The case of the Eurobarometer survey on racism and xenophobia. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 30(6), 799–810.Google Scholar

  • Masini, A., & Van Aelst, P. (2017). Actor diversity and viewpoint diversity: Two of a kind. Communications: The European Journal of Communication Research, 42(2), 107–126.Web of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • McCombs, M. E., & Shaw, D. L. (1972). The agenda-setting functions of mass media. Public Opinion Quarterly, 36(2), 176–187.Google Scholar

  • Mertens, S., & de Smaele, H. (Eds.) (2016). Representations of Islam in the news: A cross-cultural analysis. Lanham: Lexington Books.Google Scholar

  • Migrationsverket/Swedish Migration Agency (2016). Nearly 163,000 people sought asylum in Sweden in 2015, January 12, 2006. Retrieved December 7, 2017 from https://www.migrationsverket.se/English/About-the-Migration-Agenda/News-archive/News-archive-2016.Google Scholar

  • MIPEX (2015). Migrant Integration Policy Index. Retrieved September 7, 2017 from http://mipex.eu.Google Scholar

  • Philo, G., Briant, E., & Donald, P. (2013). Bad news for refugees. London: Pluto Press.Google Scholar

  • Poole, E. (2002). Reporting Islam. Media representations and British Muslims. London: Tauris.Google Scholar

  • Poole, E. (2016). The U.K.’s Reporting of Islam and Muslims: Reviewing the field. In S. Mertens & H. de Smaele (Eds.), Representations of Islam in the news. A cross-cultural analysis (pp. 21–36). Lanham: Lexington Books.Google Scholar

  • Potter, W. J. (1993). Cultivation theory and research: A conceptual critique. Human Communication Research, 19(4), 564–601.Google Scholar

  • Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees (1967, January 31). Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, adopted on 28 July 1951 by the United Nations Conference of Plenipotentiaries on the Status of Refugees and Stateless Persons convened under General Assembly resolution 429 (V) of 14 December 1950. Entry into force: 22 April 1954, in accordance with article 43 (p. 1). New York.Google Scholar

  • Rush, R., Oukrop, C. E., & Sarikakis, K. (2005). A global hypothesis for women in journalism and mass communications. International Communication Gazette, 67(3), 239–253.Google Scholar

  • Sigona, N. (2018). The contested politics of naming in Europe’s “refugee crisis”. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 41(3), 456–460.Web of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • Sondergaard, M. (1994). Hofstede’s consequences: A study of reviews, citations and replications. Organization Studies, 15(3), 447–456.Google Scholar

  • Strömbäck, J., Andersson, F., & Nedlund, E. (2017). Invandring i medierna – hur rapporterade svenska tidningar åren 2010 – 2015? [How did Swedish newspapers cover immigration in the years 2010–2015?] Stockholm: Delmi/Statens Offentliga Utredningar.Google Scholar

  • Sumuvuori, J., Vähäsöyrinki, A., Eerolainen, T., Lindvall, J., Pasternak, R., Syrjälä, M., & Talvela, A. (2016). Refugees and asylum seekers in press coverage. A comparative content analysis of texts published in Helsingin Sanomat and Aamulehti (FI), The Guardian and The Times (UK) and Le Soir and De Morgen (BE) newspapers in the time period from 1 January to 31 January 2016. London: The Finnish Institute in London.Google Scholar

  • Szcepanik, M. (2016). The ‘good’ and ‘bad’ refugees? Imagined refugeehood(s) in the media coverage of the migration crisis. Journal of Identity and Migration Studies, 10(2), 23–33.Google Scholar

  • United Nations (s.d). What is a refugee? Retrieved at September 12, 2017, from http://www.unrefugees.org/what-is-a-refugee/.Google Scholar

  • United Nations Commission on Human Rights (1998). Report of the working group of intergovernmental experts on the human rights of migrants submitted in accordance with Commission on Human Rights resolution 1997/15. Fifty-fourth session, Geneva: Intergovernmental working group of experts on the human rights of migrants.Google Scholar

  • United Nations General Assembly (1951, July 28). Convention relating to the status of refugees. United Nations, Treaty Series, 189.Google Scholar

  • Vandenberghe, H., d’Haenens, L. & Van Gorp, B. (2013). Hoe divers is de Vlaamse pers? Leeftijd, gender en etniciteit in het Vlaamse krantennieuws [How diverse is the Flemish press? Age, gender and ethnicity in Flemish newspaper news]. Nieuwsmonitor 15: Steunpunt Media. Retrieved September 7, 2017 from www.steunpunt.be/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Nieuwsmonitor-15.pdf.Google Scholar

  • Van Gorp, B. (2005). Where is the frame? Victims and intruders in the Belgian press coverage of the asylum issue. European Journal of Communication, 20(4), 484–507.Google Scholar

  • Van Gorp, B. (2006). Framing asiel. Slachtoffers en indringers in de pers [Framing asylum. Victims and intruders in the press]. Leuven: Acco.Google Scholar

  • Welzel, C. (2013). Freedom rising human empowerment and the quest for emancipation. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar

  • Williamson, D. (2002). Forward from a critique of Hofstede’s model of national culture. Human Relations, 55(11), 1373–1395.Google Scholar

  • Wohlers, T. (2015). The role of risk perception and political culture: A comparative study of regulating genetically modified food. In J.-M. Mercantini & C. Faucher (Eds.), Risk and cognition (pp. 21–59). Berlin Heidelberg: Springer.Web of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • World Values Survey (s. d.). Retrieved October 21, 2017 from http://www.worldvaluessurvey.org/wvs.jsp.Google Scholar

About the article

Published Online: 2018-08-02

Published in Print: 2018-08-28


Citation Information: Communications, Volume 43, Issue 3, Pages 301–323, ISSN (Online) 1613-4087, ISSN (Print) 0341-2059, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/commun-2018-0012.

Export Citation

© 2018 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston.Get Permission

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in