Chapter published in:Migration and Media: Discourses about identities in crisis
Edited by Lorella Viola and Andreas Musolff
[Discourse Approaches to Politics, Society and Culture 81] 2019
► pp. 93–114
A humanitarian disaster or invasion of Europe?
2015 migrant crisis in the British press
This study sought to find out how language resources were employed to reflect the changing media attitude towards immigrants during the 2015 Migrant Crisis. Combining relevant analytical categories of the Socio-Cognitive Approach (Van Dijk 1991), the Discourse-Historical Approach (Wodak 2001) and the Social Actor Analysis (van Leeuwen 2008) with Corpus Linguistic techniques, it compared the British media coverage of two critical cases; the Death of Aylan Kurdi, and the Cologne Sexual Assaults. The findings show that in both cases, regardless of news content, immigration was problematized as a crisis, controversy, and catastrophe. The scale of the tragedy and the possibility of an immigrant influx to the UK deeply influenced the media representation of the immigrants.
Keywords: immigration, British press, media attitude, discourse topics, social actors
Published online: 07 March 2019
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