Article published in:Media, Migration and Human Rights: Discourse and Resistance in the Context of the Erosion of Liberal Norms
Edited by Ekaterina Balabanova and Ruxandra Trandafoiu
[Journal of Language and Politics 19:3] 2020
► pp. 413–435
Norm destruction, norm resilience
The media and refugee protection in the UK and Hungary during Europe’s ‘Migrant Crisis’
Principles of refugee protection in Europe are said to have come under great pressure with the populist and nationalist backlash to the ‘migrant crisis’, often traced to illiberal regimes in post-communist countries. This paper tests these claims by comparatively analysing media coverage in the UK and Hungary, establishing the extent to which specific norms were challenged or upheld in April and September 2015. It develops a new methodology connecting ethical justifications for migration controls with the ‘normative terrain’ of refugee protection. The findings complicate existing assumptions about differences between conservative and progressive-leaning publications, and also the divide and direction of travel between Old/New and East/West in the European context. The article challenges the narrative of the ‘illiberal wind’ and advances understanding of the relationship between political culture and media systems in Europe, and the toxic nature of media coverage in relation to the survival of the normative regime around refugees.
Keywords: refugees, norms, media, UK, Hungary
Published online: 25 March 2020
Altman, Andrew, and Christopher Heath Wellman
2017 “Amnesty International Annual Report 2015/16”. Amnesty International, available at: https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/research/2016/02/annual-report-201516/
Balabanova, Ekaterina, and Alex Balch
Balch, Alex, and Ekaterina Balabanova
Berry, Mike, Garcia-Blanco, Inaki, and Kerry Moore
2015 Press Coverage of the Refugee and Migrant Crisis in the EU: A Content Analysis of Five European Countries. Report prepared for the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (https://www.unhcr.org/56bb369c9.pdf – accessed 2 April 2019).
2018 “It Happened There: How Democracy Died in Hungary”, VOX (https://pulitzercenter.org/reporting/it-happened-there-how-democracy-died-hungary – accessed 12 April 2019).
Betts, Alexander, and Paul Collier
Blinder, Scott, and William L. Allen
Buchanan, Sara, Bethan Grillo, and Terry Threadgold
2003 “What’s the Story”: Results from Research into Media Coverage of Refugees and Asylum Seekers in the UK. Article19.org.
Carens, Joseph H.
Chouliaraki, Lilie, Myria Georgiou, and Rafal Zaborowski, (with Wouter Oomen
Ethical Journalism Network
Georgiou, Myria and Rafal Zaborowski
Goodman, Simon, Ala Sirriyeh, and Simon McMahon
Greussing, Esther and Hajo G. Boomgaarden
Gunther, Albert C., Daniel Bolt, Dina L. G. Borzekowski, Janice L. Liebhart, and James P. Dillard
2015 Over 3,770 Migrants Have Died Trying to Cross the Mediterranean to Europe in 2015. 31 December (https://www.iom.int/news/over-3770-migrants-have-died-trying-cross-mediterranean-europe-2015 – accessed 21 March 2019).
2017 Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Top 363,348 in 2016; Deaths at Sea: 5,079. 6 January. (https://www.iom.int/news/mediterranean-migrant-arrivals-top-363348-2016-deaths-sea-5079 – accessed 21 March 2019).
Krzyżanowski, Michal, Anna Triandafyllidou, and Ruth Wodak
2015 “Why Hungary Wanted Out of EU’s Refugee Scheme”. September 22 2015, The Financial Times https://www.ft.com/content/080fb765-5e93-35f7-9a3c-2e83b26c4b8c
2017 “Illiberal Winds from the East”. New Eastern Europe 2/17 available at http://neweasterneurope.eu/2017/03/17/illiberal-winds-from-the-east/
2015 “2015: The Year of Europe’s Refugee Crisis” UNHCR: Geneva http://tracks.unhcr.org/2015/12/2015-the-year-of-europes-refugee-crisis/
Voynov, Georgi, Hana Franková, Anikó Bakonyi, Marta Górczyńska, and Miha Nabergoj