Can the Media Make Us More Welcoming?

This is episode five of our course Six Impossible Ideas (after Brexit). For this series, we’ve teamed up with six researchers from the London School of Economics, each offering a compelling take on one seemingly impossible idea.

What is a seemingly impossible idea, you ask? We’ve challenged each of our lecturers to propose an idea about migration that appears self-evident to them but is missing, misunderstood, or misinterpreted in public conversation.

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Part 5/6 from Six Impossible Ideas (after Brexit)

Is the European media reflecting the “refugee crisis” or helping create it? This is the question posed by Myria Georgiou from LSE Communications in her project analysing how newspapers in nine European countries covered the so-called refugee crisis in 2015.

Myria’s seemingly impossible idea is for the media to be more productive in helping us understand complex issues around migration.

How did European press cover the refugee crisis?

How did the press coverage change over time?

How does coverage differ between countries and regions in Europe?

Recommended Reading

You may be interested in European Journalism Observatory’s study of how reporters across Europe covered the drowning of Aylan Kurdi.

This research has analysed 43 million words of news published in British papers from 2010 to 2012. It finds that “illegal” is the most frequent modifier for the word “migrant”, and “failed” the most frequent modifier for “asylum-seeker.”

Myria and others presented their research at the 2016 POLIS “Journalism in Crisis” conference. Here’s the audio.

Myria Georgiou

Myria is Associate Professor and Deputy Head of Department at the Department of Media and Communications, LSE. She has a PhD in Sociology from LSE, an MSc in Journalism from Boston University, and a BA in Sociology from Panteion University, Athens. Her research focuses on the media and the city; urban technologies and politics of connection; and the ways in which migration and diaspora are politically, culturally, and morally constituted in the context of mediation. For more than 20 years she has been conducting and leading cross-national and trans-urban research across Europe, as well as between British and American cities.

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You should also sign up for our newest course, A Migrant’s View, here. It’s a bit different than our other courses, focussing on both research about so-called “origin countries” (where migrants and refugees come from) and stories of arrival, waiting, and return. By signing up for our newsletter on our site, you’ll be the first to know which courses we’ll be releasing next (trust us, there will be more).

What is Migration Matters?

Migration Matters was founded in January 2016 to address the public’s biggest conundrums and fears surrounding migration and the so-called refugee crisis.

Our free video-based courses break down commonly held preconceptions about migration and offer nuanced and solution-oriented perspectives from leading thinkers in the field: researchers, practitioners, as well as migrants and refugees themselves.

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