Over half of million people crossed EU borders in 2016, coming from Middle East, Africa and Asia (Frontex, 2017). There is a significant decrease in comparison to 2015, when 1.8 million people illegally crossed the European borders, but the numbers are still high in comparison with the arrivals from 2010-2014 (Frontex, 2017). This research analyses how the Scandinavian media covered this new wave of migrants and refugees, in 2016. The research is part of the Story Seekers project which aims to increase advocacy capacity of NGOs or grass-root organizations working with migrants or refugees in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden.
Research design and data collection
Story Seekers research included two main research tools, an online survey sent to experts from media and the nonprofit sector, and content analysis on media outlets from the four countries included in the study, respectively Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. In the construction of the online survey and the content analysis guidelines, we used the studied published by United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) in 2015 – Press Coverage of the Refugee and Migrant Crisis in the EU: A Content Analysis of Five European Countries.
28% from the 42 experts (journalists, bloggers, field workers from NGOs) we contacted replied to the Story Seekers survey, providing information on the told and “untold” stories about migrants, refugees and asylum seekers in the four countries. As we targeted a low number of responses and we designed the survey more as a panel of experts online tool, the results are presented for all the four countries, together, no trends per country could be observed. The full results of the online survey are presented in the Annex 1 of this report. Here, we will summarize the main results obtained from the experts
Through this research we identified a network of approximate 40 media experts, journalists, bloggers, and NGO workers that provided a general image of the Nordic media perspective on the new migration wave, of the impact of the media told stories, and of the untold stories about the newcomers. At the same time, the experts supported us in identifying the main media outlets that communicate with the general public on issues related to migrants, asylum seekers and refugees. Analyzing the media materials published by 12 media outlets in 2016 (over 9000 articles), we identified the main stories that are told, the main topics presented to the general public, and the identities the migrants received in the media.