Data-based pilot study looks into characteristics of migration coverage
Vienna, Austria – A comparative analysis of media coverage of migration issues in five countries, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, and the United States, showed that:
- at face value, mainstream news media are broadly adhering to journalistic standards when covering migration;
- migration is, however, frequently framed and presented in a way that may counteract the spirit of journalism ethics;
- the reporting agenda is strongly influenced by a national focus and has deficits where the big picture of migration is concerned.
Research teams at journalism schools and media research institutions in the five countries took four-week snapshots of migration journalism around recent elections, including the presidential elections in the US and France, the Dutch parliamentary election, and regional polls in Germany and Canada. They identified and analysed some 650 pertinent articles and categorised them by their framing of migration: which types of migrants were in focus, which related topics were discussed, and what overall tone did the articles adopt towards migrants and migration. The sources primarily represented agenda-setting national as well as regional and local newspapers and news magazines.
The pilot study worked under the assumption that mainstream media provide a window onto the most salient public perceptions of, and issues concerning, migration-related topics in the participating countries. In order best to work this out and to highlight the most relevant findings, the project adopted a comparative international perspective. The UNAOC and EJC plan to extend this exercise around migration coverage to other parts of the world as well as on related topics such as hate speech, diversity, and religion.
The study is a pilot project by the United Nations Alliance of Civilisations and the European Journalism Centre, in cooperation with the University of King’s College (Canada), the Institut National de l’Audiovisuel (France), Deutsche Welle Akademie (Germany), Christelijke Hogeschool Ede (The Netherlands), and the University of Missouri (United States). The study received expert advice from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, and was co-funded by the Open Society Fund to Counter Xenophobia.
A summary report of the study can be downloaded here, and the full presentation is available for review here.
UNAOC: Anne Grobet email@example.com; Stephanie Durand firstname.lastname@example.org
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