Media bias in the portrayal of asylum seekers and refugees

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Information about Media bias in the portrayal of asylum seekers and refugees

Published on June 1, 2016

Author: JonBeech



2. WHO ISTELLINGTHE STORY? • Of 119 articles in one week in June 2011 • Refugees and asylum seekers are rarely quoted – 1 out of 30 articles. • For every 1 positive quotes from politicians there are 36 negative quotes.

3. HOWTHE STORY ISTOLD • Language used is framed as disaster and threat • influx, swamped, soaring, waves, masses, flooding, tidal wave, huge, so many • British people are portrayed as angry and betrayed • What a joke, outrage, a mockery, fury, open to abuse • Asylum seekers are portrayed as cheats or a burden • pay-outs, scroungers, workshy, benefit tourists, in luxury

4. • words used when talking about IMMIGRANTS • millions and thousands • terrorist, suspected and sham. • flood, influx and wave • “Illegal Immigrant” - a phrase the Advertising Standards Authority found to be “racist, offensive and misleading.” • words used when talking about MIGRANTS • economic • jobs and benefits • flood Portrayals of Immigrants, Migrants,Asylum Seekers and Refugees in National British Newspapers, 2010 to 2012, Migration Observatory, University of Oxford WHATTHE PAPERS SAY

5. • words used when talking about ASYLUM SEEKERS • failed • illegal • child, destitute and vulnerable. • illegal, criminals • stay • words used when talking about REFUGEES • this is strikingly different and includes words about conflict and fleeing and people’s nationalities. WHATTHE PAPERS SAY


7. SAME DATA – DIFFERENT HEADLINES • G4S and Serco failing to house asylum seekers properly, says watchdog – The Guardian • Firms ‘place asylum seekers in sub- standard housing’ – BBC

8. Mellish cries 'Enough' on Asian influx New Flood of Asians to Britain Another 20,000 Asians are on the Way QUEUE JUMPING RUMPUS 8th May 1976 18th May 1976

9. There were Russian Jews, Polish Jews, German Jews, Peruvian Jews: all kinds of Jews, all manner of Jews. They fought and jostled for the foremost places The flight from Tsarist pogroms in 1900 The way stateless Jews from Germany are pouring in from every port of this country is becoming an outrage Flight of Jews from Nazi Germany 1938

10. HOW MANY PEOPLE DOYOUTHINK CLAIM ASYLUM INTHE UK EACH YEAR? • Around 5,000 6% • Around 25,000 23% Actual • Around 100,000 31% • Around 200,000 23% • More than 500,000 18%

11. WHATTHIS MEANS FORTHE GENERAL PUBLIC • People are confused – who is an asylum seeker, who is a refugee and who is an immigrant • People think – everyone is bogus - illegal • People think we are being flooded • People think everyone comes for the benefits • People think asylum seekers are terrorist & criminals • People think UK is the number one destination for asylum seekers

12. WHATTHIS MEANS FOR POLITICIANS • “politicians respond to public fears and anxieties which feature in and are generated by the popular press and other media” • politicians are fearful of media backlash • politicians want to be seen to be tough and in control • talking about immigration is a way of avoiding talking about the real issues – e.g. housing

13. WHATTHIS MEANS FOR ASYLUM SEEKERS AND REFUGEES • The terms refugee and asylum seeker become generic terms for bad behaviour by any immigrant or minority. • Lack of trust in refugee’s narratives • Asylum seekers are simply not believed • Headlines stick in people’s mind

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