Hit by an unprecedented financial crisis, the Greek society has been also swept away by an acute political crisis, rising political polarisation and social unrest. At the same time, over the last decade, Greece has faced an unparalleled state of emergency, with thousands of refugees and immigrants entering every year and remaining in the country, often in extremely difficult living conditions leading to ‘an exceptional crisis within the crisis’. In fact, during the recent years, immigration and the ‘refugee crisis’ have been among the most controversial topics on the Greek policy agenda and one of the principal issues that shapes public discourse and raises the most questions about social cohesion and the fundamental values of the Greek society. Media representations of the refugee and migrant ‘crisis’ have played a significant role in how this controversial issue is presented in the Greek public discourse as well as in how people perceive and respond to it. Within this context and having as a starting point the theoretical approach of peace journalism, this chapter explores the ways in which four national Greek newspapers portrayed immigration within different periods of the Greek crisis between January 2011 and September 2015. Research results reveal two different periods in the analysed news stories, one between 2011 and 2014, when immigration was portrayed as a ‘domestic problem’ and the other, in 2015, when the situation was designated as a ‘European refugee crisis’. In both cases, however, it was evident that immigration was positioned high on the agenda of the Greek newspapers, despite major political events taking place within the same periods. Findings were presented and discussed on four different but interrelated levels: immigration (1) as a source of conflict and polarisation, (2) as a political issue, (3) through securitisation and victimhood and, ultimately, (4) through a ‘journalism of conventions’ lens, with very important consequences on the quality of information (extensive lack of solutions related to immigration and asylum issues, absence of refugees' voice, insufficient context, among others).
Kalfeli, N. (2020), "From ‘Illegals’ to ‘Unfortunates’: News Framing of Immigration and the ‘Refugee Crisis’ in Crisis-stricken Greece", Veneti, A. and Karatzogianni, A. (Ed.) The Emerald Handbook of Digital Media in Greece (Digital Activism and Society: Politics, Economy And Culture In Network Communication), Emerald Publishing Limited, pp. 369-383. https://doi.org/10.1108/978-1-83982-400-520201058Download as .RIS
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