Media for Diversity and Migrant Integration

What's the Story: Results from Research into Media Coverage of Refugees and Asylum Seekers in the UK

TitleWhat's the Story: Results from Research into Media Coverage of Refugees and Asylum Seekers in the UK
Publication TypeReport
CountryUnited Kingdom
Year of Publication2004
AuthorsBuchanan, S., B. Grillo, Article19, and T. Threadgold
Pagination56 pages
Date Published2004
PublisherArticle 19
Place PublishedLondon, UK
1) Abstract

The report firstly highlights how refugees and asylum seekers are represented in UK newspapers and on television news broadcasts. This content analysis is then complimented by the results of interviews with asylum seekers, refugees about their perceptions of the media in the UK and consultations with journalists and refugee community organizations (RCOs).

2.1) Publication LanguageEnglish
2.2) Type & Structure

Overview of results of media monitoring
Use of statistics: the numbers game
Use of images: a picture paints a thousand words
Use of sources: refugees struggling to be heard
The impact of myths of refugees and asylum seekers
The way forward: recommendations

2.3) Original Research or Not


3.1) Main Issues

The report found that reporting of asylum seekers is characterized by inaccuracies; that the media, especially tabloids fail to distinguish between economic migrants and asylum seekers or refugees; the asylum debate focuses of numbers but such numbers are frequently unsourced or exaggerated; that images accompanying stories are dominated by images of the ‘threatening young male’; that reporting relies on figures of authority as sources and rarely use asylum seekers or refugees as sources; asylum seekers feel ashamed and angry of the media’s representation of them but despite this they are not hostile to the media; women refugees are frustrated with media representations; and that asylum seekers and refugees are reluctant to complain about media reporting.

3.2) Media

308 articles from a 12 week period of October to December 2002.
Four national daily tabloids
Two national daily broadsheets
One regional freesheet

53 items from evening news bulletins from three one-month periods: late May to late June 2002, December 2002 and late February to late March 2003
Four terrestrial channels
One satellite news channel.

3.3) Media Genres

Newspaper articles
Television news programmes

3.4) Key Theories

Multi-modal content analysis

4.1) Relevance

Very high relevance to the indicators. Appendices break down the type and frequency of coverage so that individual media outlets can be analysed.

Keywordscontent, discourse, discrimination, language, representation, United Kingdom
Tagsimages, media coverage, photography, Stereotyping, television