Loved and feared in fortress Europe: Framing the European refugee crisis

Communications 45 (2):252-263 (2020)
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The European refugee crisis is an important topic on media, political, and public agendas. Due to its scope and impact, its continuing prevalence on the media-agenda and the divisiveness of public debate, new research is needed to understand the media’s framing of the issue. This study inductively analyzes framing of the refugee crisis of 2015–2016 by two Dutch newspapers. Portrayal of the refugee crisis consists of ten different frames and counter frames. The frames are communicated on the level of the refugee, on the level of the crisis as an event, and on a societal level. Results show that recent reporting on the refugee crisis is relatively nuanced and portrays the crisis from a variety of perspectives. Framing changes following certain transitory events, but only slight differences were found between popular and quality papers.



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