BRIDGES Working paper nº 10

Migration narratives in media and social media. The case of the United Kingdom

Fecha de publicación:
Saskia Smellie, Research Fellow in Politics and International Relations at the University of Edinburgh

BRIDGES Working paper nº 10 (May 2023)

Migration regularly features front and centre in the British media, and the media landscape plays a critical role in framing discourse on immigration. This report analyses the emergence and dissemination of narratives on migration in the British media. It focuses on the coverage of three events: the Calais ‘migrant crisis’ in the summer of 2015; the ‘Windrush scandal’ in 2018; and the jihadist suicide bombing at Manchester Arena in 2017. Applying a mixed methods approach, this report examines narratives in the British press, on television and Twitter. This data is supplemented by interviews with journalists who reported on the events. The empirical analysis demonstrates the centrality of political actors and commentators in driving narratives on migration in the public domain via the media. It also suggests that dominant narratives corresponded with established public and political discourses on immigration in the United Kingdom.