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The European Journal of Communication Research

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

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Volume 43, Issue 3


Who drove the discourse? News coverage and policy framing of immigrants and refugees in the 2016 U.S. presidential election

Christine Ogan / Rosemary Pennington / Olesya Venger / Daniel Metz
Published Online: 2018-08-02 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/commun-2018-0014


Migration was one of the most important issues in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. While Hillary Clinton promised an immigration reform that would create a path to citizenship, Donald Trump said he would deport illegal aliens, build a wall between the United States and Mexico, and suspend immigration from countries with a history of terrorism, capitalizing on some of the public’s fears through his rhetoric. We examine the ways mainstream national and regional press covered this issue from the Republican National Convention through Election Day. This content analysis of 12 news outlets finds that political themes drove the coverage more than anything else, with Donald Trump or a member of his team most often serving as theme sponsor. Though about half of the stories were neutral or balanced in tone, negative stories were sponsored either by the Trump team or other actors.

Keywords: election; immigration; Donald Trump; Hillary Clinton; news media


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About the article

Published Online: 2018-08-02

Published in Print: 2018-08-28

Citation Information: Communications, Volume 43, Issue 3, Pages 357–378, ISSN (Online) 1613-4087, ISSN (Print) 0341-2059, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/commun-2018-0014.

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