Comparative report on cross-country media practices, migration, and mobility

Comparative report on cross-country media practices, migration, and mobility

August 9, 2018


This is the last in a series of three papers of work package 11. It looks at the practices of media in the reporting of migration and intra-EU mobility in a set of EU member states: Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the UK.

The report compares national traditions in the practice of journalism by looking at journalists’ (and their sources’) self-described practices in generating stories about the various forms of migration, the newsroom and professional cultures in which they are immersed, and the broader environments in which journalism happens.

The authors argue that migration policy is highly politicised in all of the sampled countries which show differing levels of political intervention in the reporting of migration. The report also shows that migration narratives differ by country depending on recent migration experiences and the political salience of key aspects of migration (e.g. issue of refugees and asylum seekers was the dominant issue in almost all countries with the exception of the UK; intra-EU mobility was an area of only marginal interest in most countries with the exception of the UK, Poland and Romania). And they suggest that entrenched political and cultural media practices, coupled with rapid change and concerns about institutional failure (at an EU or national level) may be stronger determinants of news coverage than “hard facts” to migration incidence, impacts or policy. The report concludes with ideas on how to mitigate such effects and to support level-headed and evidence-based reporting.

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