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Representations of refugees and asylum seekers during the 2013 federal election

journal contribution
posted on 2020-11-01, 00:00 authored by Kehla LippiKehla Lippi, Fiona McKayFiona McKay, Hayley McKenzie
Immigration policy, arrival modes, human rights, and international obligations have all been part of the debate that has ensued over the Australian Government’s policy response towards refugees and asylum seekers. This debate was a central campaign focus in the lead up to the 2013 Australian federal election and was accompanied by extensive media coverage. This media coverage is a significant contributor to the representation of refugees and asylum seekers to the Australian public. This study explores how refugees and asylum seekers were represented in Australian print news media in the period immediately before and after the 2013 federal election. Using news framing and critical discourse analysis, this study examined 162 articles, published between 7 August and 8 October 2013, in Australian newspapers. The analysis revealed two opposing themes in the representation of asylum seekers: refugees and asylum seekers were represented as either a threat requiring a military intervention or as victims requiring management. The findings of this study demonstrate the ways in which the print media contribute to a polarised representation of refugees and asylum seekers and the potential deleterious effect of this dichotomous construction to an informed public opinion.

History

Journal

Journalism

Volume

21

Issue

11

Pagination

1611 - 1629

Publisher

SAGE PUBLICATIONS INC

ISSN

1464-8849

eISSN

1741-3001

Language

English

Publication classification

C Journal article; C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal