Refugees in modern media: German television coverage of refugees and its impact on inclusion by Adeline Lo
Date: March 22, 2023
Speaker: Adeline Lo
Title: Refugees in modern media: German television coverage of refugees and its impact on inclusion
Abstract: The effects of refugee migration permeates most aspects of a recipient society, not least native inclusionary attitudes and behaviors towards refugees. While recent research has emphasized measuring the extent to which direct exposure to refugees affects inclusion, much less is known about the more frequent type of refugee exposure natives experience: exposure to refugees through media representation. This project establishes key patterns to how much and in what ways modern media represents refugee stories, how this has changed over time, and explores how major shifts in the ways refugee stories have changed affect native inclusion. We collect and study a unique television corpus from 2014-2019 covering the daily universe of a major public broadcast news show in Germany, the Tagesschau, throughout the period leading up to and following the globally renowned “Open Door” announcement in the Syrian refugee crisis, using image, text and sentiment analyses. We find that the likelihood of Germans watching Tagesschau being exposed to a refugee story has increased over this time period and that such stories have increasingly been told within the topic of criminal justice. We conduct a German nationally representative randomized survey experiment building television interventions off of these two major patterns to causally identify their impacts on native inclusion.