A new report on migrant voices in the British media in the run-up to the 2015 UK General Election has revealed that 85% did not include a migrant voice or perspective.
The report titled ‘Victims and Villains’ has been published by the Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations at Coventry University.
It explores how migrant voices and experiences are framed in Britain’s migration debate, against the backdrop of a complex relationship between the media, political debate and public attitudes.
Researchers asked whether the voices and experiences of migrants were present in media reporting on migration issues in the months leading up to the 2015 General Election. They also asked if migrants were able to have a voice, and how their experiences and perspectives were represented and framed.
While migrants are only referenced in 15% of newspaper articles on migration, 85% of articles do not have a migrant perspective.
The researchers also discovered that migrant voices are more likely to be included in stories which tend towards more positive, sympathetic or humanising portrayals of migration. A majority of such stories presented the migrant as a victim in need of sympathy and support.
Migrant voices are however absent when it comes to stories which tend towards more negative views of migration and migrants.
The researchers have called for a more balanced migration debate that reflects the lived reality of migrants in Britain by including a wider range of evidence, views and perspectives.
Click here to download a copy of the report