Migration and migrants within and to Europe

Reviewing media studies of the past decade (2001–2016)

Authored by: Mélodine Sommier , Willemijn Dortant , Flora Galy-Badenas

The Routledge Companion to Migration, Communication, and Politics

Print publication date:  December  2018
Online publication date:  December  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138058149
eBook ISBN: 9781315164472
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315164472-13

 

Abstract

This chapter reviews recent academic articles (2001–2016) about media and migration both within and to Europe. This chapter contributes to understanding how contemporary perceptions of migration and migrants intersect with media representations, while highlighting shortages in academic coverage and providing suggestions for future research. Articles (N = 89) from ten prominent journals dealing with mass media narratives were analyzed using content analysis. Following a quantitative overview of the data, the chapter discusses the main themes present in the literature. Closely-related articles (i.e., directly dealing with (im)migration and (im)migrants) tackled representations of immigrants, immigrants’ media use, stereotypes in the media, ethnic and minority media, discourses about migration issues, and visual representations of refugees/asylum-seekers. Articles considered moderately relevant referred to migration/migrants as a background to their primary topic of investigation. The findings draw attention to the scarcity of research on media production in general and the need to further connect media discourse to concrete editorial and journalistic practices and identify that the lack of methodological transparency echoes validity concerns in (qualitative) scientific research. Remarkably, few studies considered refugees, though the current actuality of the refugee crisis is expected to cause a shift in research focus. Finally, this chapter suggests that the construction of immigration is predominantly a non-European experience while drawing attention to the growing relationship between race, ethnicity, religion, and migration. The suggested shift from the migrant category to religious, cultural, and racial denominations highlights the need to consider implications of these references as proxies of the migrant category in future research.

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Migration and migrants within and to Europe

This chapter will provide a review of media studies on migration both within and to Europe published since the turn of the century. By doing so, the limited notion of migration as a one-time geographical movement may be enriched by a consideration of migrants, their mobility, and their representations in the media after settlement on the European continent. The primary goal of this study is to define if and how migration features in recent scholarly articles that consider the development and transmission of mass media narratives. Therefore, the exploration is confined to a narrowed-down set of sub-disciplines within the broad field of media studies, i.e., journal articles related to media sociology, mass communication, and critical discourse analysis. Using quantitative content analysis to summarize the state of the literature on the topic, the current study points out gaps and emerging topics in studies on media and migration. It thereby delineates future research directions that are relevant to both the fields of media and migration studies.

On a practical level, a review study is extremely relevant to define how present-day understandings of migration and migrants intersect with media representations. As debates on migration are nowadays increasingly politicized (Brug, D’Amato, Ruedin, & Berkhout, 2015), it is worthwhile considering to what extent and how media researchers have taken upon this increase. The timeframe of the study indeed covers many significant events connected to public discourse on migration in Europe, such as terrorist attacks within and beyond the European borders, the Greek financial crisis, and expansion of the Schengen borders in 2007–2008. The most recent events, such as Brexit and the so-called “refugee crisis,” underline an even stronger urgency to study how, on the one hand, mediatized articulations of migratory movements and, on the other hand, public discourses are mutually related.

This chapter first elaborates on the methods used while selecting and analyzing scholarly articles for the current review. Second, a quantitative description of the data facilitates a cross-sectional identification of focal points in media journals. Articles are defined in terms of the media outlet, geographical location, type of migrants, and topics they tend to focus on, as well as their methodological frameworks. Following this quantitative overview, the chapter provides a detailed discussion of the main themes identified in the data. This section is divided into a discussion of strongly- and moderately-related topics and the central theme of European migration. In the conclusion, key methodological and conceptual limitations are summarized, creating a platform for discussion about the future of media research on the topic of migration within and to Europe.

Method

For the current study, 100 articles (see the Appendix for the full list of references) from ten prominent academic journals dealing with mass media narratives were reviewed, focusing on their negotiation of migration within and to Europe. These journals (see full list in Table 12.1) were selected based on a cross-comparison of results from three main metric systems (i.e., Google Scholar Metrics, Scimago, and Citesore). The tools used by metric systems to rank academic journals are often criticized for being too partial or biased (Pendlebury, 2008). For this reason, the authors decided to combine results from three metric systems in order to gain a more balanced overview of the top journals on mass media since 2001. Within the selected journals, original articles (i.e., commentaries and book reviews were excluded) published in English between 2001 and 2016 were selected using the following keywords: immigration, migration, migrant, refugee, asylum-seeker, and Europe. These search terms were chosen to include research about both the process (i.e., immigration, migration) and individuals (i.e., migrant, refugee, asylum-seeker). The keyword “Europe” was added after realizing that many articles were focusing on migration within and to non-European countries, particularly on the United States of America, Australia, and New Zealand. After applying these keywords, three journals (Discourse Studies, Human Communication Research, and Communication Research) were eventually left out due to the absence and/or scarcity of hits.

Following data collection, all articles (N = 100) were divided among the three authors and coded to evaluate their degree of relatedness to the topic of migration in Europe. Throughout the coding and organizing of the data, all three authors worked together by interchanging articles, and comparing and negotiating coded parts of each other’s data to ensure a good level of intercoder reliability. First, articles that were off-topic (e.g., migration as journalist practice, migration due to climate change) were excluded. After that, the authors organized the articles by relevance. Criteria for defining the relevance of articles were as follows:

  1. Articles considered very relevant (n = 51) dealt directly with immigration, migration, immigrants, and migrants (i.e., representation/framing of immigrants in the media, immigrants’ media use, stereotypes in the media, ethnic and minority media, discourse about migration issues, and visual representations of refugees/asylum-seekers).
  2. Articles considered moderately relevant (n = 38) referred to migration and/or migrants as a background to the primary topic being discussed (e.g., the phenomenon studied was relevant to migration but only indirectly linked to migration/migrants; the articles questioned how journalism dealt with race/ethnicity/national identity/religion, therefore hinting at migrants on few occasions).
  3. Articles (n = 11) that mentioned migrants/migration once or twice but not in relation to the main topic of the study were considered irrelevant and excluded from the dataset. Following data reduction, 89 articles (89 percent) were kept for in-depth analysis, out of which 51 (57.3 percent) were identified as closely related to the topic of migration in Europe and 38 (42.7 percent) as moderately related. The detailed overview of data reduction and classification of articles per journal is presented in Table 12.1.

Table 12.1   Overview of the dataset composition per journal prior to and following data reduction

Journal name

Article collected

Articles kept for analysis

Closely-related articles

Moderately-related articles

Journal of Communication

3

2

1

1

Media, Culture & Society

35

31

20

11

New Media and Society

12

11

5

6

Journalism Studies

16

13

3

10

International Communication Gazette

13

13

9

4

Journalism

6

4

3

1

European Journal of Communication

8

8

5

3

Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly

2

2

1

1

Mass Communication and Society

3

3

3

0

International Journal of Press/Politics

2

-

1

1

TOTAL

100

89

51

38

Quantitative overview of the data

Of all the articles we analyzed (N = 89), 35 (39.32 percent) collected data from newspapers. With the exception of one article that analyzed cartoons, the other articles did not systematically specify what content was examined within newspapers. It is worth pointing out that 17 out of these 35 articles (48.57 percent) collected data from British newspapers, including both broadsheets and tabloids. In addition to printed media, 23 (25.84 percent) of all the analyzed articles collected data from TV. Among them, 12 did not further specify the type of data being used. The 11 other articles focused on transnational TV channels, commercials, documentaries, soap operas, and news. Third, 20 (22.47 percent) of the articles dealt with data from online sources (websites, blogs, social media, forums, official documents). Lastly, 11 articles (12.36 percent) reported data from various sources, including radio, the BBC (as a general broadcast source), ethnic media, magazines, mobile phones, and information and communication technologies (ICTs).

Within the dataset, seven articles focused on migration in/to Europe without specifying a national and/or regional focus. When, alternatively, considering migration at the national level, many studies focused on the UK (n = 28), with Scotland studied as a separate area in one article. Although to a lesser extent, The Netherlands (n = 12), France (n = 9), Germany (n = 7), the Nordic countries – Finland, Denmark, Norway, and Sweden – (n = 17), and Belgium (n = 11) were fairly well-researched too. Among articles focusing on Belgium, six looked at the country as a whole, and five focused on Flanders. While most research focused on just one single country, 13 articles compared European countries to one another, and European countries to non-European ones (e.g., Cameroon, Turkey, and the United States).

Among articles investigating migration as a process, 14 researched immigration, three studied migration, and one looked at processes of refuge. In those articles, immigration and migration were looked at as general issues, and thus were not linked to individuals per se. In addition, 16 articles did not specify the direction of migration and explored the topic from a theoretical perspective. Other than looking at migration as a process or concept, 55 studies (61.79 percent) focused on migrants as individuals. Out of these articles, 54 focused on immigrants and only one looked at emigrants. While some authors used the term immigrant as a collective concept, others focused on specific sub-communities, including Muslim, African, Black, Turkish, Roma, Arab, Moroccan, and Irish immigrants. Beyond references to immigrants, some authors particularly spoke about migrants (n = 11), asylum-seekers (n = 9), and refugees (n = 7), though using these terms as generic categories without associating them with any nationality. Asylum-seekers were identified as “boat people” on two occasions in the context of the recent Mediterranean/refugee crisis.

Regarding methodological frameworks, 50 (56.18 percent) of all the articles we analyzed used a qualitative approach. Among those qualitative studies, discourse analysis (n = 6), critical discourse analysis (n = 5), content analysis (n = 5), framing (n = 5), and textual analysis (n = 4) were the most commonly used methods. Only 18 articles (20.22 percent) within the entire dataset used quantitative methods, predominantly content analysis (n = 9). While most articles used a single method, eight articles (8.98 percent) used a mixed-method approach. Those articles, for the most part, conducted qualitative and quantitative content analysis (n = 5). Finally, two articles were theoretical, and 11 (12.36 percent) did not specify their methodological approach at all.

Lastly, despite a great variety of topics, four main lines of research appeared across the whole dataset. The first topical line captured the media coverage, portrayal, and representation of various minority groups. Within this research domain, attention was focused on the potential effects of media coverage on perceptions of and attitudes towards migrants. A second line of research dealt with the interplay between media and audiences using two main approaches. On the one hand, the role of different media was studied with regard to migrants’ integration processes, the reinforcement of stereotypes, diversity and migration promotion, the production and circulation of feared Islamization, and the construction of national multicultural consensus. On the other hand, studies explored the role of migrants in producing and participating in alternative media, their use of media to maintain relationships and to feel at home in the new environment, differences of media usage between migrants and natives, and migrants’ self-initiated seeking of media attention. The third important line of research tackled discourse related to migration and concomitant issues. Such studies explored media discourse of integration, interculturality, discrimination, marginalization, terrorism, and national identity. In addition, the construction of national identity, national-selves, and racism in public discourses were significant themes within this research domain. Finally, the fourth line of research included studies exploring media framing from various perspectives, including the framing of asylum-seekers, multiculturalism, and human trafficking in the media. Additionally, the degree of influence media framing holds over political agenda-setting was explored, oftentimes related to generated public sentiment towards migrants. Lastly, articles within this research area looked at framing in regard to its effect on migrants. These four overarching themes were present throughout the data among closely- and moderately-related articles alike. A more detailed account of the topics identified in the data will be presented hereafter, starting with the themes identified as closely related.

Discussion of the closely-related themes

Studies that dealt primarily with (im)migration and (im)migrants were grouped together as “closely related” and read through thoroughly to identify the themes they covered. Table 12.2 provides an overview of the main research areas and their salience.

Table 12.2   Identified themes among the closely-related articles (n = 51) in the dataset

Closely–related themes

n

%

Immigrants’ representation/framing in the media

13

14.61

Discourses about migration issues

12

13.48

Immigrants’ media use for specific purposes

8

8.99

Ethnic/minority media

8

8.99

Stereotypes in the media

7

7.86

Visual representations of refugees/asylum-seekers

3

3.37

Total

51

57.30

As expected, many articles (n = 13) dealt with the frames used to represent (im)migrants in the media. Most articles within this theme investigated newspapers (n = 9) while one article focused on the radio and three on television. Overall, three main areas of research were identified within this theme: representations of (1) immigrants (n = 5), (2) asylum-seekers (n = 4), and (3) potential effects of migrants’ representations in public debates (n = 4). Few studies investigating the framing of immigrants focused on specific groups (e.g., Thorbjørnsrud and Ustad Figenschou’s (2016) study of unauthorized migrants), while most studies took a broad approach with no clear immigrant target groups. Studies measuring the effects of frames were divided among two main lines of research by either exploring political agendas (i.e., to what extent does media discourse on migrants affect political decisions and/elections) or public perceptions of migrants (i.e., to what extent does media discourse on migrants affect people’s attitudes towards migrants).

Articles focusing on asylum-seekers presented different frames utilized by the media and how they were constructed. Horsti (2013), for instance, discussed the construction of asylum-seekers as victims through a concomitant process of both de-religionizing and de-racializing them. Overall, findings from studies on asylum-seekers presented traditionally dominant frames (i.e., ambivalence between asylum-seekers as threats and victims) (Long, 2013; Nyers, 2013), and sometimes discussed these in relation to media genre. Matthews and Brown (2011), for instance, drew attention to the overtly negative tone of tabloid discourse on asylum-seekers. A few studies (n = 3) also tackled the topic of forced migration by investigating visual representations of refugees and asylum-seekers. Out of these, two articles explored visual depictions of “boat people” during the recent Mediterranean/refugee crisis (e.g., Musarò, 2016).

Among articles looking at immigrants’ representations in the media, few (n = 7) specifically focused on stereotypical discourses and portrayals. These studies tackled the processes of essentialization and homogenization through which stereotypes and monolithic views of cultures and communities were constructed (e.g., Schneider, 2001). Some of the studies within this theme also explored ways in which the media could challenge reified perceptions of cultures (e.g., Zambon, 2016). Out of these seven articles, six were based on textual or discursive analysis of media texts and only one on interviews with media practitioners (i.e., Klein, 2011). This imbalance is recurrent throughout the dataset and underlines the tendency of the media studies reviewed for this chapter to focus on content and reception rather than on processes preceding and accompanying production.

Many articles (n = 12) also explored media discourse on migration. Within this topic, attention was drawn to multilingualism, multiculturalism, and/or cultural diversity (n = 7). For instance, Signer, Puppis, and Piga (2011) investigated linguistic practices and policies within the multilingual Swiss media landscape. Their findings suggested that linguistic minorities and migrants are underserved by media content fitting their lingua-cultural backgrounds. Besides addressing multilingualism, studies tackled discourses of migration in relation to integration policies. Two articles considered multiculturalism in British media discourse during the London 2012 Olympic Games. These studies paid attention to this media event and its national resonance by investigating how discourses of multiculturalism were intertwined with positive national narratives and representations of Britishness (e.g., Black, 2016).

Another prominent area of research dealt with immigrants’ media use (n = 8). Within this theme, four articles focused on the interplay between identity formation and ICT. These articles showed the importance of ICT as a medium for immigrants to maintain contact with relatives and friends back home (e.g., Bonini, 2011) while highlighting the different facets involved in this process. Burrell and Anderson’s (2008) ethnographic study underlined the plurality of immigrants’ ethnic identities and homes due to multiple migration experiences or relations to diasporic communities. In the same study, the authors showed that media use is not only a tool for immigrants to look back but also an instrument for them to look forward. Through their media uses, participants in Burrell and Anderson study were able to build their social capital as immigrants by developing a varied international network and making empowering choices regarding their present and future migratory experiences. Overall, the topic of media use was often studied in relation to power structures and whether those tended to be reproduced or challenged. Some studies discussed the ambivalent influence of media on migrants’ social status. Kim (2016), for example, explored how mobile phones may, on the one hand, facilitate migrants’ employment but, on the other hand, re-emphasize their subjection to workplace power imbalances. In another study, Kang (2012) explored the intersection between gender roles, digital skills, and power structures among transnational families. Kang’s (2012) study showed that digitally competent men tend to take the lead while communicating with their offspring living abroad. Remarkably, silencing of and restrictions imposed on older women were found to modify the traditional feminine roles of looking after and bringing together families in this study.

In a few articles, the topic of media use was tightly connected to the theme of ethnic and minority media (n = 8). Two articles within that theme focused on the relation between ethnic media and immigrants’ adaptation paths (e.g., Arnold & Schneider, 2007). All other articles (n = 6) paid attention to the type of content produced (e.g., overlaps between national and transnational products) and its importance in giving immigrants a voice to position themselves within host societies (e.g., Macgilchrist & Böhmig, 2012; Ogunyemi, 2007). Overall, articles exploring ethnic/minority media emphasized the active role played by immigrants in Europe as both media users and producers. These articles also underlined migrants’ presence as engaged nationals who endeavor to make their voices heard in the public sphere. These studies therefore contrasted with most other themes in the data, which often examined what was said about migrants rather than what they said themselves. Though it is a fundamental necessity to tackle issues of (mis)representation, their dominance within media studies may contribute to the construction of migration as a phenomenon of importance for hosts and media users rather than for migrants themselves.

Discussion of the moderately-related themes

Of all the articles we analyzed, 38 (42.7 percent) were coded as being only moderately related to the topic of migration within and to Europe. Although these articles discussed phenomena relevant to the research topic, they remained quite implicit in their references to migration and/or migrants. Articles were grouped into three main categories that illustrated how these articles indirectly dealt with migration and migrants within and to Europe (see Table 12.3: (1) articles using migration as a background and/or discussing a related phenomenon, (2) articles describing migration in political discourse, and (3) articles discussing journalistic approaches to minority culture.

Table 12.3   Identified themes among moderately-related articles (n = 38) in the dataset

Moderately-related themes

n

%

On the topic of race/ethnicity and hinting at migrants on few occasions

14

15.73

Phenomenon relevant to migration but not studied directly in relation to migration or migrants

13

14.61

Migration/migrants as something politics talks about

11

12.36

Total

38

42.70

First, 13 out of the 38 moderately-related articles (14.60 percent of the whole dataset) dealt with migration and/or migrants to briefly embed the topic of primary focus. For example, Marchionni (2012) referred to asylum-seekers and refugees while providing a background to the phenomenon of human trafficking as discussed by elite press, i.e., within leading newspapers such as the Washington Post, the New York Times, The Guardian, and The Times. However, the outcomes of her study limitedly focused on the politics of sex trafficking, lacking clear reference to the migrant background of the victims of human trafficking. In an article by Hoops, Thomas, and Drzewiecka (2016), the manifestation of the migrant subject seemed more articulated. Still, media representations of Polish immigrants in the UK press were analyzed only instrumentally, i.e., to address the broader issue of neoliberalism and nationalist discourse in the British media. These two examples illustrate how a variety of research topics investigated by media scientists over the past decade did indeed loosely relate to the phenomenon of migration in Europe. This is not surprising, as in our globalizing world, migrants co-feature in multiple transnational processes with which the media have had to deal. Remarkably, though, the saliency of migration as a related topic of interest oftentimes lacked explicit recognition in the scholarly articles we analyzed. We conclude that, in multiple cases, immigration discourse has failed to be holistically addressed in the broader contexts of transnational media research.

Second, 11 of the moderately related articles (representing 12.36 percent of the whole dataset) were concerned with migration as something political programs and/or politicians take on. Instead of questioning the direct influences of media discourse on political processes (something discussed as a theme closely related to the topic of migration in Europe), these articles dealt rather implicitly with the intersections between media and political discourse in two distinct ways. First, some of the articles questioned how media venues covered or dealt with migration debates in the political sphere. Still, the primary goal of these articles was to explore how media logics facilitated political messaging and party popularity. Migration and migrants were only referred to as being part of the political agendas prone to media influences. In another article, Sevenans and Vliegenthart (2016) explored the extent to which conflict framing of immigration in the media moderated agenda-setting in the political sphere. They concluded that the media had played a significant part in determining the primacy of migration questions in the Dutch and Belgian parliaments. As another example, Herkman (2017) explored how the life cycle of Nordic populist parties developed according to the media attention they received. As expected, in both of these articles, some (right-wing) parties’ outspoken criticism of immigration was touched upon. However, describing changes in migration rhetoric was rather subordinate to the investigation of media influences on political viability.

Contrasting this focus on persuasive media logic, some articles approached the mediatization of migration issues from a political perspective. Within this strand of research, articles, for instance, explored to what extent politicians deliberately used media to communicate their opinions on immigration and migrant communities. In those cases, the political usage of media logic was the main topic of interest. Yet, as we observed in the previous examples as well, migration issues nevertheless received considerable attention. Atton (2006), for example, analyzed how the British National Party (BNP) utilized its website to socialize supportive audiences into accepting racial policies. Since immigration rhetoric predominantly defined the BNP’s agenda, the scientific analysis of statements online transmitted primarily targeted the mediatization of migration politics. Similarly, analyzing the development of the French Front National’s online platform, Bratten (2005) primarily aimed to explore transitions in mediatized immigration discourse rather than focus on the migration debate itself.

These examples illustrate how migration politics were not the primary focus in 11 studies regarding political discourse in the data, though migration was nonetheless touched upon. Interpreting this finding, we might argue that the attention given to anti-immigrant politics in media research over the past two decades concerned a rather latent consequence of shifts in Western European political landscapes, which are described by Rydgren (2007). The increased popularity of radical right-wing parties, thriving on anti-migration politics, has directed the study of mediatized politics towards an analysis of migration-related content. Still, the attention given to migration and migrants in these articles has often just been of instrumental value to the broader topic of right-wing political mediatization. For this reason, these articles were categorized as being only moderately related to the topic of migration and migrants within and to Europe.

Lastly, 14 out of the 38 moderately-related articles (15.73 percent of the whole dataset) dealt with the way journalists handled topics related to minorities. Even though migrants were mentioned occasionally, migration as a journalistic theme was not saliently present. Instead, the authors focused on how the press approached tensions and questions arising in European multicultural societies. Specifically, these studies examined representations of ethnic, racial, and religious/extremist themes in the press, overlooking the category “migrant” as the primary definer of their background. The following two examples illustrate how migrant-related topics were framed as religious or racial discourse studies in many of the retrieved articles. First, an article written by Triandafyllidou (2009) dealt with the framing of the religious cartoon crisis in media artifacts stemming from the UK and Greece, two countries identified in her study as hosting migrant communities from Islamic countries. This article focused on European values in a transnational discursive space, a topic that can inherently be traced back to the process of (Muslim) migration to the European continent. However, the emphasis on migrant communities in this article was replaced by a focus on Europe’s struggle with religious identity claims. In another article, by Darling-Wolf (2008), the author chose to explore how in France (and in the United States) racial relations are negotiated in reportage on hurricane Katrina (the US) and riots (France). Despite the relation between the sensitivity of racial reportage in France and the multi-colored composition of its migratory population, only a few references were made to the migration background of the country’s racially diverse population. Acknowledging the remarkable discursive shifts in migrant-related referencing, the concluding discussion will explicitly touch upon its implications for future research.

Concluding remarks

The present literature review allows us to draw some conclusions regarding (1) methodological issues and (2) the scope of topics characterizing journal articles on migration in Europe over the past two decades as ascertained by studies. First, we found that 11 studies (12.36 percent) did not clearly specify which methodological approaches they used. This draws attention to a larger issue underlying the observed lack of transparency in scientific publications (Morse, Barrett, Mayan, Olson, & Spiers, 2002) and the need to further insist on sharing how data are dealt with and how findings are obtained. The importance of ensuring methodological transparency is further emphasized by the dominance of qualitative research in our sample (i.e., 56.18 percent of all articles reviewed). This echoes a common criticism of qualitative research that does not account for the subjectivities entailed in this methodology (Noble & Smith, 2015), even though transparency has been elevated as a central tool to ensure credible and reliable research (Silverman, 2011).

Second, we found that a vast majority of studies analyzed media content and very few studies investigated processes associated with the production thereof. The attention paid to processes of media creation mostly came from studies looking at ethnic and minority media (n = 8), which, however, represented only 8.98 percent of the overall dataset. The scarcity of studies looking at how media practitioners make decisions and reflect on their professional choices urges for future research that connects media discourse to concrete editorial and journalistic practices. An important direction for future studies is to challenge understandings of media discourses as floating and pre-existing entities.

Overall, we collected 100 articles, out of which 89 were connected to the topic of migrants and migration within and to Europe. Considering the substantive coverage of the Mediterranean/refugee crisis in the media over recent years (Hoyer, 2016), we expected a noticeable number of journal articles to reflect on this media coverage. However, in total, only three articles focused on the recent arrival of refugees in Europe. The timeframe used for data collection might explain this small number and we expect many more studies to be published on this topic in coming years.

The dataset used for this study turned out to be very small, at least in comparison to the vast number of studies focusing on migration beyond the European context. First, it could be that the discussion of migration within and to Europe in the media has not primarily taken place in publications from the field of Media Studies, but rather in publications related to sociology and migration. Despite our aim of studying the topic of migration within and to Europe as a dynamic, multi-directional process, binary understandings of migration oftentimes predominated in journal articles. Within the topic of migration to Europe, most articles focused on non-European immigrants while migration within Europe was hardly tackled. This could mean that migration within European countries is understudied or categorized using different terms (e.g., expatriates, international students, transboundary commuting), and therefore not identified by the scope of this literature review. Future studies should therefore reconsider the use of different and/or truncated search terms that may account for the limited number of migration references found without researchers being aware of it. Nevertheless, the overt attention paid to migration from outside of Europe that was noticed in the current study already supports the idea that media studies, in anticipation of (mass-)media patterns, contribute to constructing migration as a phenomenon experienced by European hosts and non-European migrants. Associated with this issue is the lack of research looking at emigration. The construction of immigration as predominantly a non-European experience also relates to the terms used to describe immigrants. This literature review indeed draws attention to the relation between the notions of race, ethnicity, and religion and the topic of migration.

Assessing the literature from the past two decades gives us opportunities to reflect on the evolution of the dichotomous separation between migrants and hosts. Specifically, discourse (in academia and the media) seems to have evolved from migrant/non-migrant denominations to racial/non-racial and religious/non-religious categories. It has been interesting to observe that migration-related topics were framed either ethno-racially or religiously within a considerable number of articles. Since the studies we analyzed themselves reflected on journalist artifacts, this observation could point to a more general journalistic shift of framing. In their study of the Dutch press, Roggeband and Vliegenthart (2007) observed that migrants (or their offspring) are recurrently framed as belonging to the Islamic denomination post 9/11. Especially the Muslim identity, as a fixed and visible minority label, has nowadays become a salient social category that outweighs the importance of its members’ additional identities and backgrounds (Modood, 2003; Sommier, 2017). Building on these observations in the Dutch media context, we could expect that the binary opposition of migrants versus non-migrants has become outdated and been replaced by a focus on more specific cultural identifiers across the European press. The suggested shift from the migrant category to religious, cultural, and racial denominations hints at the construction of immigrants as others and positions them outside of the European imagined community. Such a substitution of migration terminology might explain the limited relatedness of many articles to the topic of migration to Europe. Moreover, we might have to consider implications of racial and religious references as proxies for the migrant category in future research. It would be interesting to explore whether media scientists increasingly endorse religious identity, ethno-racial frames as well. That is, future research should explore whether the racialization of Islamic religion in the media is further reified and stabilized in both academic and public discourse.

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Marchionni, D. M. (2012). International human trafficking: An agenda-building analysis of the US and British press. International Communication Gazette , 74 , 145–158.
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Appendix: Articles (N = 89) used for data analysis

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Arnold, A. K. & Schneider, B. (2007). Communicating separation? Ethnic media and ethnic journalists as institutions of integration in Germany. Journalism , 8 , 115–136.
Balch, A. & Balabanova, E. (2011). A system in chaos? Knowledge and sense-making on immigration policy in public debates. Media, Culture & Society , 33 , 885–904.
Black, J. (2016). “As British as fish and chips”: British newspaper representations of Mo Farah during the 2012 London Olympic Games. Media, Culture & Society , 38 , 979–996.
Bonini, T. (2011). The media as “home-making” tools: Life story of a Filipino migrant in Milan. Media, Culture & Society , 33 , 869–883.
Burrell, J. (2008). “I have great desires to look beyond my world”: Trajectories of information and communication technology use among Ghanaians living abroad. New Media & Society , 10 , 203–224.
Castelló, E. , Dobson, N. , & O’Donnell, H. (2009). Telling it like it is? Social and linguistic realism in Scottish and Catalan soaps. Media, Culture & Society , 31 , 467–484.
Chalaby, J. K. (2005). Deconstructing the transnational: A typology of cross-border television channels in Europe. New Media & Society , 7 , 155–175.
Croucher, S. M. , Oommen, D. , Borton, I. , Anarbaeva, S. , & Turner, J. S. (2010). The influence of religiosity and ethnic identification on media use among Muslims and non-Muslims in France and Britain. Mass Communication and Society , 13 , 314–334.
Dekavalla, M. (2016). Framing referendum campaigns: The 2014 Scottish independence referendum in the press. Media, Culture & Society , 38 , 793–810.
Dolan, P. (2014). Cultural cosmopolitanization and the politics of television in 1960s Ireland. Media, Culture & Society , 36 , 952–965.
Domínguez, M. , Pineda, F. , & Mateu, A. (2014). Life in a nutshell: Evolution of a migratory metaphor in Spanish cartoons. Media, Culture & Society , 36 , 810–825.
Dzięglewski, M. (2016). The economic, social and ontological security of Polish post-accession migrants in popular media narratives. Media, Culture & Society , 38 , 827–843.
Echchaibi, N. (2001). We are French too, but different: Radio, music and the articulation of difference among young North Africans in France. International Communication Gazette , 63 , 295–310.
Eckert, S. & Chadha, K. (2013). Muslim bloggers in Germany: An emerging counter public. Media, Culture & Society , 35 , 926–942.
Giglou, I. R. , Ogan, O. , & D’Haenens, L. (2016). The ties that bind the diaspora to Turkey and Europe during the Gezi protests. New Media & Society , 1–19.
Gorp, B. van (2005). Where is the frame? Victims and intruders in the Belgian press coverage of the asylum issue. European Journal of Communication , 20 , 484–507.
Horsti, K. (2013). De-ethnicized victims: Mediatized advocacy for asylum seekers. Journalism , 14 , 78–95.
Igartua, J.-J. & Cheng, L. (2009). Moderating effect of group cue while processing news on immigration: Is the framing effect a heuristic process? Journal of Communication , 59 , 726–749.
Ihlen, O. & Thorbjornsrud, K. (2014). Making news and influencing decisions: Three threshold cases concerning forced return of immigrants. European Journal of Communication , 29 , 139–152.
Jacobs, L. , Claes, E. , & Hooghe, M. (2015). The occupational roles of women and ethnic minorities on primetime television in Belgium: An analysis of occupational status measurements. Mass Communication and Society , 18 , 498–521.
Jacobs, L. , Meeusen, C. , & d’Haenens, L. (2016). News coverage and attitudes on immigration: Public and commercial television news compared. European Journal of Communication , 31 , 642–660.
Kang, T. (2012). Gendered media, changing intimacy: Internet-mediated transnational communication in the family sphere. Media, Culture & Society , 34 , 146–161.
Kim, Y. (2016). Mobile phone for empowerment? Global nannies in Paris. Media, Culture & Society , 38 , 525–539.
Klein, B. (2011). Entertaining ideas: Social issues in entertainment television. Media, Culture & Society , 33 , 905–921.
Kroon, A. , Kluknavská, A. , Vliegenthart, R. , & Boomgaarden, H. (2016). Victims or perpetrators? Explaining media framing of Roma across Europe. European Journal of Communication , 31 , 375–392.
Lecheler, S. , Bos, L. , & Vliegenthart, R. (2015). The mediating role of emotions: News framing effects on opinions about immigration. Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly , 92 , 812–838.
Macdonald, M. (2007). Television debate, interactivity and public opinion: The case of the BBC’s “Asylum Day”. Media, Culture & Society , 29 , 679–689.
Macgilchrist, F. & Böhmig, I. (2012). Blogs, genes and immigration: Online media and minimal politics. Media, Culture & Society , 34 , 83–100.
Matthews, J. & Brown, A. R. (2011). Negatively shaping the asylum agenda? The representational strategy and impact of a tabloid news campaign. Journalism , 13 , 802–817.
Meeusen, C. & Jacobs, L. (2016). Television news content of minority groups as an intergroup context indicator of differences between target-specific prejudices. Mass Communication and Society , 20 , 1–28.
Moore, K. (2013). “Asylum shopping” in the neoliberal social imaginary. Media, Culture & Society , 35 , 348–365.
Musarò, P. (2016). Mare Nostrum: The visual politics of a military-humanitarian operation in the Mediterranean Sea. Media, Culture & Society , 39 , 11–28.
Ndangam, L. N. (2008). Free lunch? Cameroon’s diaspora and online news publishing. New Media & Society , 10 , 585–604.
Ogunyemi, O. (2007). The black popular press. Journalism Studies , 8 , 13–27.
Pas, D. van der (2014). Making hay while the sun shines: Do parties only respond to media attention when the framing is right? International Journal of Press/Politics , 19 , 42–65.
Philo, G. (2002). Television news and audience understanding of war, conflict and disaster. Journalism Studies , 3 , 173–186.
Pineda, A. , Garcia-Jimenez, L. , & Rodrigo-Alsina, M. (2016). I believe they felt attacked. Discursive representation and construction of interculturality in Spanish news television. International Communication Gazette , 78 , 585–605.
Polson, E. & Kahle, S. (2010). Limits of national discourse on a transnational phenomenon: A case study of immigration framing on the BBC Online. International Communication Gazette , 72 , 251–268.
Rogers, J. , O’Boyle, N. , Preston, P. , & Fehr, F. (2014). The significance of small differences: Cultural diversity and broadcasting in Ireland. European Journal of Communication , 29 , 399–415.
Ross, K. (2004). Political talk radio and democratic participation: Caller perspectives on Election Call. Media, Culture & Society , 26 , 785–801.
Schneeweis, A. (2012). If they really wanted to, they would: The press discourse of integration of the European Roma, 1990–2006. International Communication Gazette , 74 , 673–689.
Schneider, J. (2001). Talking German: Othering strategies in public and everyday discourses. International Communication Gazette , 63 , 351–363.
Shaw, I. S. (2012). Stereotypical representations of Muslims and Islam following the 7/7 London terror attacks: Implications for intercultural communication and terrorism prevention. International Communication Gazette , 74 , 509–524.
Signer, S. , Puppis, M. , & Piga, A. (2011). Minorities, integration and the media: Media regulation and media performance in multicultural and multilingual Switzerland. International Communication Gazette , 73 , 419–439.
Silk, M. (2014). “Isles of wonder”: Performing the mythopoeia of utopic multi-ethnic Britain. Media, Culture & Society , 37 , 68–84.
Smets, K. (2016). Ethnic media, conflict, and the nation-state: Kurdish broadcasting in Turkey and Europe and mediated nationhood. Media, Culture & Society , 38 , 738–754.
Thorbjørnsrud, K. & Ustad Figenschou, T. (2016). Do marginalized sources matter? Journalism Studies , 17 , 337–355.
Vliegenthart, R. & Roggeband, C. (2007). Framing immigration and integration: Relationships between press and parliament in the Netherlands. International Communication Gazette , 69 , 295–319.
Wakeford, N. (2003). The embedding of local culture in global communication: Independent internet cafés in London. New Media & Society , 5 , 379–399.
Zambon, K. (2016). Negotiating new German identities: Transcultural comedy and the construction of pluralistic unity. Media, Culture & Society , 39 , 552–567.

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Awad, I. (2012). Desperately constructing ethnic audiences: Anti-immigration discourses and minority audience research in the Netherlands. European Journal of Communication , 28 , 168–182.
Banaji, S. & Cammaerts, B. (2015). Citizens of nowhere land. Journalism Studies , 16 , 115–132.
Berkowitz, D. & Eko, L. (2007). Blasphemy as sacred right/rite. Journalism Studies , 8 , 779–797.
Bratten, L. C. (2005). Online zealotry: La France du peuple virtuel. New Media & Society , 7 , 517–532.
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Darling-Wolf, F. (2008). Holier than thou. Journalism Studies , 9 , 357–373.
Driessens, O. , Joye, S. , & Biltereyst, D. (2012). The X-factor of charity: A critical analysis of celebrities’ involvement in the 2010 Flemish and Dutch Haiti relief shows. Media, Culture & Society , 34 , 709–725.
Ekström, M. & Johansson, B. (2008). Talk scandals. Media, Culture & Society , 30 , 61–79.
Eriksson, M. (2015). Managing collective trauma on social media: The role of Twitter after the 2011 Norway attacks. Media, Culture & Society , 38 , 365–380.
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Herkman, J. (2015). The life cycle model and press coverage of Nordic populist parties. Journalism Studies , 18 , 430–448.
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Sevenans, J. & Vliegenthart, R. (2016). Political agenda-setting in Belgium and the Netherlands: The moderating role of conflict framing. Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly , 93 , 187–203.
Thomas, R. J. & Antony, M. G. (2015). Competing constructions of British national identity: British newspaper comment on the 2012 Olympics opening ceremony. Media, Culture & Society , 37 , 493–503.
Triandafyllidou, A. (2009). The Mohammed cartoon crisis in the British and Greek press. Journalism Studies , 10 , 36–53.
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