Media Conflicts on Migration: How Migrants and Migration Become Objects of Media Controversy
Cultural diversity and migration have proved to be core conflicts issues on the media agenda during the last decades. Most frequently, they are discussed with reference to Islam and Muslim culture. After early peaks of the debate, for instance, around the Islam critical thesis by the journalist Oriana Fallaci and the politician Thilo Sarrazin, at latest the 2015 migration crisis has impressively polarized societal and media discourses. This project takes the example of migration and examines how a polarized media agenda surrounding migration and migrants is build. The project follows two strands: It 1) analyzes how migration and migration policies are discussed in media discourses and 2) how migrants are represented and stereotyped in media discourses. Regarding media discourses on migration, the project asks: How is the influx of migrants incorporated into a society’s self-concept before and during the migration crisis? How is the legitimacy of migration policies discussed and challenged in media debates? How do populist movements such as the German PEGIDA take the issue of migration to mobilize bystanders? Regarding the depiction of the minority group of migrants it is asked: How are migrants attacked and stereotyped as a threat for culture and society in the media? How do media biases operate in the depiction of migrants? And what is the influence of counter speech in media debate?