Migration in journalistic reporting, 2020

28. 01. 2022

Authors of Research: Mojca Pajnik, The Peace Institute and Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana, Brigit Sauer, Daniel Thiele, University of Vienna

Year of Research: 2020

Keywords: migrations, populism, media, newspapers, politics, frame analysis, affect, journalism, political ideologies, journalists


The research examines the occurrence and reproduction of populist and affective communication in the interpretive genre of newspaper commentary (i.e. critical writing) of two selected daily newspapers in Slovenia, Delo and Slovenske novice, in the period of changes in migration and refugee legislation in Slovenia (period between 2015 and 2019; the newspaper articles (commentaries) used for the analysis refer to the period between 2015 and 2017). Using the method of framing, the researchers analyse the newspaper commentaries in the two newspapers in order to examine the frames, used by the journalists when defining social phenomena as problems within which they implicitly or explicitly include or offer solutions in their texts. The final sample of the analysis is limited to those newspaper commentaries that in their argumentation contain a structured and semantically relevant pair: an explicit definition of the problem and an explicitly proposed solution to the defined problem. Structured frameworks containing the pair problem (diagnosis) - solution (prognosis) identified by the research team in the texts thus represent fundamental units of analysis. The analysis of framing within the communicative framing process presupposes and enables the perception of a certain non-linguistic or non-cognitive property of framed problems and solutions in the analyzed texts. Due to the specific way in which populist antagonisms are spread in the media, media populism in each pair (problem-solution) is coded on two levels, (1) as populism through the media, and (2) as populism by the media. Populism through the media is marked by the presence of three populist antagonisms uttered by outside voices (e.g. politicians) on which journalists rely, so the phenomenon is dimensioned in three variables: anti-elitism, people-centeredness, and otherness. Populism by the media describes journalists as actors who actively recreate populist communication, as those actors who deal with populism only thematically or as actors who label others as populists. They operationalize the phenomenon with three dimensions with the help of five variables: anti-elitism, focus on the people, otherness, populism as a phenomenon, populist actor.


Pajnik, M., Sauer, B. and Thiele, D. (2021). Migration in journalistic reporting, 2020 [Data file]. Ljubljana: Univerza v Ljubljani = University of Ljubljana, Slovenian Social Science Data Archives (ADP). ADP - IDNo: MIGNOV20. https://doi.org/10.17898/ADP_MIGNOV20_V1

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