1st Edition

Refugee News, Refugee Politics Journalism, Public Opinion and Policymaking in Europe

Edited By Giovanna Dell’Orto, Irmgard Wetzstein Copyright 2019
    252 Pages 24 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    252 Pages 24 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

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    The unprecedented arrival of more than a million refugees, asylum seekers, and migrants – plus the political, public, and policy reactions to it – is redefining Europe. The repercussions will last for generations on such central issues as security, national identity, human rights, and the very structure of liberal democracies. What is the role of the news media in telling the story of the 2010s refugee crisis at a time of deepening crisis for journalism, as “fake news” ran rampant amid an increasingly distrustful public?

    This volume offers students, scholars, and the general reader original research and candid frontline insights to understand the intersecting influences of journalistic practices, news discourses, public opinion, and policymaking on one of the most polarizing issues of our time. Focusing on current events in Greece, Austria, and Germany – critical entry and destination countries – it introduces a groundbreaking dialogue between elite national and international media, academic institutions, and civil society organizations, revealing the complex impacts of the news media on the thorny sociopolitical dilemmas raised by the integration of hundreds of thousands of asylum seekers in EU countries.

    Introduction: Situating The "Refugee Crisis" and Its Sociopolitical Effects Through 21st-Century European Journalism

    [Giovanna Dell’Orto and Irmgard Wetzstein]

    Part I: Policy, Politics, and Media Discourses, from Fortress Europe to Mutti Merkel And Idomeni

    1. Welcoming Citizens, Divided Government, Simplifying Media: Germany’s Refugee Crisis, 2015–2017

    [Dietrich Thränhardt]

    Notes from the Field: One Sentence, Many Misunderstandings: A German Journalist Reflects on Germany’s "We Can Do It" Stance

    [Peter Riesbeck]

    2. The Expectations-Politics-Policy Conundrum: Assessing the Impact of the Migration and Refugee Crisis on the European Union

    [Vicki L. Birchfield and Geoffrey Harris]

    3. "Fortress Europe": Representation and Argumentation in Austrian Media and EU Press Releases on Border Policies

    [Sabine Lehner and Markus Rheindorf]

    4. The Gender Dimension of the Refugee Debate: Progressiveness and Backwardness Discourses in Austrian Press Coverage

    [Irmgard Wetzstein]

    5. Empathy Toward Refugees, Apathy Toward Journalism: Hundreds of Thousands of Refugees in Greece, Thousands of Stories, Just a Few Hundred Clicks

    [Andreas M. Panagopoulos]

    Notes from the Field: Real Empathy, Fake News? One Reporter’s Experiences in the Frontlines in Northern Greece

    [Costas Kantouris]

    Part II: Civil Society Responses as Another Lens into Public Opinion in Greece, Austria, and Germany

    6. Moving On and In: Integration Through Shared and Independent Living Spaces in Greece

    [Sophia Ioannou with Valia Savvidou]

    7. Tackling The "Refugee Crisis" and Meeting the Educational Needs of Newly Arrived Refugees: Programs for Refugee Teachers and Students in Germany and Austria

    [Kerstin Lueck and Leonhard Dokalik-Wetzstein]

    8. Online Fake News, Hateful Posts Against Refugees, and a Surge in Xenophobia and Hate Crimes in Austria

    [Claudia Schäfer with Andreas Schadauer]

    Part III: Journalism at the Border: Reporting on the Crisis in Greece

    9. Trying to Find the Right Words

    [Ioannis Papadopoulos]

    10. Down & Out & Wet & Bedraggled: Navigating the Emotional and Ethical Maelstrom of Reporting from the Crisis Flashpoint of Idomeni

    [Phoebe Fronista and Sofia Papadopoulou]

    11. Overcoming the Empathy Gap: Covering Europe’s Migrant Crisis for an American Audience

    [Jeanne Carstensen]

    12. Reporting Back to the Migrant Audience: Afghans’ Exodus and Perilous Journey to Europe

    [Mustafa Mohammad Sarwar]

    13. Avoiding the Traps of the Numbers Game and Caricatures: The Responsibility of Keeping the Factual Record for the World

    [Elena Becatoros and David Rising]

    Part IV: Journalism and Integration: Reporting on the Crisis in Austria and Germany

    14. From Empathy to Hostility in 127 Days: The Journey of Austrian Press and TV Coverage

    [Edith Meinhart, Martin Staudinger, and Peter Unger]

    15. Cologne’s New Year’s Eve Sexual Assaults: The Turning Point in German Media Coverage

    [Jan Bielicki]

    Notes from the Field: Fake News and a Profession in Crisis: A Foreign Correspondent Reflects on "Willkommenskultur"

    [Carmen Valero]

    16. Torn Between Transparency and Stereotypes? How to Report about Refugees and Crime

    [Eva Thöne]

    17. Widening the Focus: Why Writing about Migration is More than Writing about Migrants

    [Caterina Lobenstein]

    18. After the Arrival: Telling Stories of Integration in Germany for a Global Audience

    [Melissa Eddy]

    Conclusion: Interplays of Journalistic Practices, News, Public Opinion, and Policies in Europe’s Refugee Crisis

    [Giovanna Dell’Orto]


    Giovanna Dell’Orto is Associate Professor at the University of Minnesota’s Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communication, and affiliated faculty at the Center for German and European Studies and Department of Political Science. A former journalist with The Associated Press (AP), she is the author of four books on journalism and international affairs, most recently AP Foreign Correspondents in Action and American Journalism and International Relations (Cambridge University Press, 2015 and 2013), and coeditor of Reporting at the Southern Borders (Routledge, 2013).

    Irmgard Wetzstein is Senior Lecturer at the Department of Communication, University of Vienna, former Fulbright Visiting Professor at the University of Minnesota, and trained mediator. She received her PhD in media communications in 2010 and has been working in social research and teaching since 2006, focusing on journalism and conflict communication, social media, strategic and visual communication. Before that, she worked at the Austrian news magazine profil and the Austrian Insurance Association’s PR division.

    'Refugee News, Refugee Politics is an important analysis of one of the most urgent political and social issues of recent years. Combining first hand journalistic experience, academic analysis and contributions from civil society organisations, this book provides rich and much needed insight into the refugee and migrant crisis and provides excellent advice on best practice for journalists, academics and NGOs.'Richard Sambrook, Cardiff University, UK

    'The European refugee crisis has become a litmus test for EU politics and European humanitarianism. Born out of a productive collaboration between academics and journalists, this book presents unmatched first-hand insight into the way the news media are shaping public opinion and migration policy.'Thomas Hanitzsch, LMU Munich, Germany

    'At a time when local, national and international communities debate how to respond to global migration phenomena, Refugee News, Refugee Politics provides a rare and valuable combination of perspectives from journalism practitioners and media scholars. The volume will undoubtedly become a seminal reference for scholars, students and general readers about how to understand the news media’s relationship to public opinion, policy makers and migration.'Celeste González de Bustamante, University of Arizona, USA