Mediation of Migration
Department for media and communication, University of Oslo
Professor Espen Ytreberg
Through the analysis of the role of journalists and institutional strategic sources, the project offers knowledge about the largely hidden mechanisms shaping the news on migration. A comparative content analysis provides knowledge on how news accounts about migration is framed, in Norway and in countries with contrasting media systems and immigration histories. Reception analysis gives insights into how people's attitudes in general are affected by the news on migration and how minority groups in Norway and migrants in Pakistan and Iraq percieve and act upon these news stories.
The media fundamentally affect how people perceive themselves and the surrounding world, how key societal institutions function and how democracy works. The present project investigates the dominant form and content of news stories on migration.
We investigate all main phases related to the mediation of migration: The information strategies and production processes behind the news; news form and content; as well as the effect of media coverage on public opinion in general and on perceptions among minority groups in particular.
The project also compares Norwegian news accounts of migration with news discourses in other western countries marked by contrasting immigration histories. Finally it examines the role of the news media in loops of information between immigrant groups in Norway and networks in sending countries of migrants, adding to the knowledge of migration flows and the globalisation of information.
The project aims to uncover hitherto largely closed-off processes, revealing who the dominant actors and stories in the media are, but also what kind of perspectives and what types of actors that are overlooked or even silenced. The investigation of the media's impact on public opinion on migration offers vital insights into how the media work to encourage democratic participation and inclusion on the one hand, exclusion, fear and alienation on the other.
Of special interest to public governance is the project's exploration of whether the logics of the mass media modify the priorities and practices of Government and public administration, and the subsequent allocation of resources in the welfare state. The role of the media in these processes is significantly under-researched.
The project will contribute to a knowledge-based debate about the implications of an expanding media logic in society, through an ambitious research design that combines interdisciplinarity, a range of methodological approaches, and that foregrounds international cooperation.