Media Framing Dynamics of the 'European Refugee Crisis': A comparative Topic Modelling Approach (2019)

Cover

Abstract

The complexity and duration of the so-called ‘European refugee crisis’ created a climate of uncertainty, which left ample room for mass media to shape citizens’ understanding of what the arrival of these refugees meant for their respective country. This study analyses the national media discourses in Hungary, Germany, Sweden, the United Kingdom and Spain for this time period. Applying Latent Dirichlet Allocation topic modelling in five languages and based on N¼130,042 articles from 24 news outlets, we reveal country-specific media frames to track the overall course of the refugee debate and to uncover dynamics and shifts in discourses. While results show similarities across countries, due to media coverage responding to real-world developments, there are differences in media framing as well. Possible sources of these differences such as countries’ geographic location or status as receiving country are discussed.