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AuthorK. Horsti
TitleAsylum seekers in the news: Frames of illegality and control
JournalObservatorio e-journal
Institute/dept.Associated members
KeywordsIllegal/irregular migration; Public opinion/media; Cultural values; Discrimination/racism/exclusion; Diversity/pluralism/multiculturalism; Identity
AbstractSince the early 1990s migration policies in Europe have thematically shifted from human-rights issues to control policies. Distinguishing political refugees from economic migrants has become more difficult. Analyses of this shift cannot overlook the role of journalism. By setting the agenda news journalism defines what is discussed and by framing the issues it selects how these issues are discussed.
This article uses frame analysis for foreign and domestic news of asylum seeking in the National Finnish News Agency (STT). The data consists of news published in 2002, total of 237 news items.
Two frames are the most dominant. Firstly, the news are more often linked with trans-national crime and clandestine travel than with humanitarian issues. The illegality frame links foreign news with domestic news. Small incidents of 'illegal immigration' in Finland are covered since 'illegality' is on the agenda through news flows from other countries. Asylum seeking is presented as a common European problem.
Secondly, the news construct a frame of controlled immigration in Finland. Often insignificant details are reported which produce a panoptic eye on asylum seekers: they are being watched, moved and removed. The news construct a panopticon over asylum seekers.
Document typeArticle
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