Story Seekers Media Report 2017
Story Seekers Media Report 2017


Raw data from the survey sent to experts (media, bloggers and organizations working with migrants)

1. In your opinion, what is the group or the groups of migrants that receive more attention from the media in your country?

6 responses out of 12 (50%)


4 – Syria

2  – Muslims

1 – Asylum seekers

1 – Iraq

1 – Somalia

1- Africa

2. In your opinion, what are the most used terms by the media, in your country, to name the migrants?

12 responses out of 12 (100%)


Refugees & asylum seekers – 14

Migrants & immigrants – 7

Foreigners – 1

Newly arrived (nyanlanda) – 1

3. In your opinion, how are the migrants most often described in the media from your country?

11 responses out of 12 (92%)


8 responses out of 12 (67%) mention that media chose to present the negative aspects of migration. However, differences between groups of migrants are made in two answers, showing different media behavior towards different migrant groups (Iraqis and Afghans versus Syrians; Eastern Europeans versus asylum seekers).


Main topics:

  • Economic data, costs for the state, require resources – problem, welfare migrants, economic burden, freeloaders
  • Ungrateful, greedy, criminals/crimes – 3, threat – 2, troublemakers, crisis, problem,culture
  • Islam, terrorism
  • Protection & shelter, asylum seekers, victims – 2
  • Good people stories, “good immigrants”
4. In your opinion, what causes/explanations have the media outlet in your country given the increasing number of migrants to Scandinavia/Europe? Do they focus more on pulling or pushing factors? Please describe shortly the most used factors to explain the migration wave.

10 responses out of 12 (83%)

According to the experts, media covers both pulling and pushing factors for migration, but differences are made depending on the group of migrants discussed in the articles, such as “legitimated refugees” versus “illegitimated refugees”.


Pushing factors mentioned: crisis, war / civil war (refugees), repressive regime, starvation, dictatorial regime, overcrowded refugee camps, economic reasons (migrants).

Pulling factors: permissive migration law, attractive / generous welfare system / social security system, falling EU, economic factors, better life in Europe.


Pulling factors: 3

Pushing factors: 2

5. Please select the main three sources / voices present in the media referring to migrants or the last migration wave:

12 responses out of 12 (100%)


National / local politicians – 11

Citizens – 7

Experts / analysts – 5

Public authorities – 3

NGOs / civil society – 3

UN / UNHCR – 2

Foreign politicians – 1

Migrants – 1

Others: ‘Opinionators’ (they’re like the expert, but without the expertise) – 1

6. In your opinion, how much do migrants' voices contribute to the stories from the media outlets in your country?

11 responses out of 12 (100%)

1 (not at all) – 4 (great extent): 1 – 2 responses, 2 – 5 responses, 3 – 4 responses, 4 – 0 responses



7. In your opinion, what are the stories that the media, from your country, miss or provide less coverage in regard to migrants or the last migration wave?

10 responses out of 12 (83%)


Benefits to the society: migrants contribute to the society with their work; their expertise is needed; the positive aspects of migration; the educational, professional and personal background of the migrants


Migrants’ rights / legislation: seeking asylum is a human right; asylum seekers are not the same with the refugees


Stories: how they are treated during their stay in the country, personal stories, their new life and all the challenges (raising children in a foreign country, getting a job, etc.)


Actions taken: constructive news on what is being done


Comments on how media reports: unbalanced view on the migration wave (only the extremes presented: victims versus demons; cutting corners short and too little checking of the facts; emphasizing the immigrant status even when the story is about something else.


Being the problem, not the solution:

The Norwegian government’s role and responsibility in creating war, poverty and instability in many countries in the world – especially Libya and Afghanistan – is largely absent. This makes it seem like that the government’s responsibility is only to receive and integrate migrants, and not to contribute to stop the push factors that create migration. So, we only hear about Norway’s responsibility when migrants arrive at ‘our doorstep’, or at the refugee camps – and nothing else.

8. In your opinion, what is the role, if there should be any, of NGOs / grass-root organizations in framing the media’s narratives towards migrants or the last migration wave?

10 responses out of 12 (83%)


More stories / narratives: bringing more stories, providing the local perspective, to tell the stories that complicate the picture; the differences of the immigrants, whom usually are regarded as a monotone group; giving immigrants themselves space in media. Not to be talked about, be to be the one talking.


Sources of information: provide solid facts from reliable sources; to bring the alternative data about this issue to the public opinion via their own channels or via more open and inclusive media; pinpointing good experiences and practices; provide “nuance”, showing a broader perspective, emphasizing what should / can / could be done


Helping perspective:

To provide an honest take on the refugee crisis: Yes, it is costly to help people in need, and yes, we have some problems integration all nationalities into the european welfare states. Still, it is our moral duty to help other to ensure some credibility of the asylum system (that many europeans have benefitted from earlier) and other countries in the Middle East are doing their fair share of the job.


The responsibility Norway and other rich and resourceful countries have to welcome the people that need protection and give correct picture of how the migration really affects our lives (will our living conditions really be worse/and if if is so; is it not worth it if if can give better opportunities to someone that really needs it).


Advocacy role: to advocate the migrants’ cause


The role of the NGOs should be to be more critical in the media towards government’s foreign affairs policies that create war and poverty, instead of just pleading governments to send more money and resources to refugee camps, or instead of just describing the horrible conditions in refugee camps. I rarely read op-eds written by NGO workers. They are usually only interviewed by journalists. I believe NGOs should take a more active and critical role in the media.

9. Please name the most relevant, in terms of readership, three newspapers or blogs or relevant Facebook pages / groups from your country. Please also mention how you would categorize these media, as left / center-left or right/center-right oriented.

8 responses out of 12 (67%)



3 VG – center-left, center-right

2 Dagbladet – center-left, center-left

3 Aftenposten – center-left, center-right

1 Klassekampen – left

1 Dagens Næringsliv – center-right

1 NRK – center

1 government page on Facebook:



2 Jyllands-Posten – right-wing newspaper, you will find the so-called islam-criticism here, but it is still professional, slightly moderate and mainstream; center-right

1 DR – left-leaning public-service news channel – has made great docs on migrants and debates

1 Information – leftist newspaper, with high-quality articles with a wide range of different authors.

1 Politikken – center-left oriented

1 Berlingske – center-right



1 Dn (dagens nyheter) – national liberal newspaper.

1 ETC – left oriented newspaper.



There are polarization of media and opinions, the more serious newspapers try to cover the news objectively. But all groups have their own groups and sites where they give “a suitable picture” regarding to own beliefs, so eg right wing populist have news that are nearly racism.

10. In your opinion, what type of messages, from the relevant sources you previously mentioned, have the most impact on different audiences?

6 out of 12 (50%)



“refugees who are not happy in Norway” (#they should be grateful…)

Crimes done by asylum seekers

Politicians who wants to “close the border”

unfortunately the populist get more and more space and followers


Type of media materials:

Opinion pieces and news articles. is criticized for being too leftist (because its public service) and constantly opens up for vicious debates that have shaped the way we understand the whole crisis.



I haven’t seen much evidence or reports covering that.

Story Seekers Media Report 2017
Story Seekers Media Report 2017
Story Seekers Media Report 2017