Immigrant Representation in German Print Media During Selected Periods from 2015 to 2019.

Laumann, Katharina (2019) Immigrant Representation in German Print Media During Selected Periods from 2015 to 2019. Masters thesis, Griffith College.

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This dissertation investigates the way in which immigrants are represented in German print media since the beginning of the European “refugee crisis”. It seeks to answer the question of how immigrants are represented and if there are differences among different groups of immigrants with regard to their origin, gender, age, and religion. In addition, this dissertation also looks at texts that focus on broader themes of immigration and identifies trends within general immigration reporting. The research design followed a content analysis with quantitative and qualitative elements. The specific design was that of Mayring’s deductive category application, based on previous studies of immigrant representation in German media, mainly Haller’s study published in 2017. In contrast to previous studies, this dissertation looks at all immigrants and considers recent developments. The analysis focused on three newspapers, one tabloid (Bild) and two broadsheets (Welt and Frankfurter Rundschau), with different political alignments. It looked at three two-week periods from 2015, 2017, and 2019 which together represent the development over the four-year period. A pilot study was conducted after which a key word category was added to the coding schedule, and a list of search terms was compiled. The analysis revealed 576 articles containing explicit immigrant representation. The total number of articles that included the topic of immigration was much higher. Immigrant representation was not balanced. Young male Muslims from the Middle East were overrepresented. Women only appeared in a fifth of all articles. Immigrants were rarely contributing actively to immigrant representation. Overall immigrant representation was neutral with the conservative papers Bild and Welt including equal amounts of positive and negative coverage. The liberal Frankfurter Rundschau featured more positive mentions of immigrants, more mentions of women, and more mentions including active immigrant participation. Immigrants were mostly mentioned in the contexts of sports, crime, and integration and assumed roles as sports stars, criminals or victims, and refugee, asylum seeker, or immigrant. The most dominant group of immigrants also had the highest number of negative mentions. Those trends were enforced by general mentions of immigration which also revealed an ongoing struggle in Germany to come to terms with being an “immigrant nation” and in relation to Germany’s history as a divided nation. Old conflicts between East and West Germany resurface in the context of the “refugee crisis”. Furthermore, the immigrant background of a person is often not mentioned when it could be classified as positive representation. Instead, mentions are tied to stereotypes and prejudice. All theses trends should be addressed to improve immigrant representation. Future research should consider more newspapers and time frames and look at the East-West divide.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Journalism, Media Communications, Immigrant, Refugee crisis, Immigrant representation in German media.
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions: Faculty of Journalism & Media Communications > MA in Journalism & Media Communications
Depositing User: Ms Tehseen Faisal
Date Deposited: 11 Jan 2020 13:40
Last Modified: 11 Jan 2020 14:53

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