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The framing of migration by Flemish politicians: A comparative content analysis of newspapers, television, Facebook and Twitter

Sarah Van Leuven (UGent) , Annelore Deprez (UGent) , Stijn Joye (UGent) , David Ongenaert (UGent) and Joke D'Heer (UGent)
(2019)
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Abstract
The current research focuses on the role of frame sponsors, more specifically politicians of the six main Flemish political parties (N-VA, Open Vld, CD&V, sp.a, Groen or Vlaams Belang), in framing the public debate about migration in the news as well as on social media. More specifically, we investigated the presence of four frames: the intruder frame, the victim frame, the wealth gap frame and the win-win frame (Van Gorp et al., 2018). We collected statements on migration or migrants made by Flemish politicians between 1 January 2016 and 30 June 2018 in four different types of media. We selected the five most read national newspapers: Het Laatste Nieuws, Het Nieuwsblad, De Standaard, De Morgen, and De Tijd. The television news items were collected from the 19h daily newscast VTM Nieuws (commercial broadcaster) and 19h daily newscast Het Journaal (public broadcaster VRT, Eén). On Twitter and Facebook, we included the official accounts of the political parties as well as the official accounts of their most important politicians (party leaders, Ministers and State Secretaries in the Federal and Flemish government, party experts on migration). In each of the four media, the units of registration are the statements by Flemish politicians containing at least one of the keywords “migration” or “migrant”. We only selected the verbatim quotes by politicians. The newspaper data were collected through the GoPress database, the TV items through the ENA (Elektronisch Nieuwsarchief) database, the Twitter data using the Twitter API, and the Facebook data by means of a manual scraping (due to practical limitations only the 50 most recent posts). The study was conducted by two independent coders. The intercoder reliability test resulted in strong kappa values (ranging from 0.617 to 1). We collected 1528 statements of 82 politicians representing the six parties; 47.9% (732) from N-VA, 27.1% (414) Vlaams Belang, 8.2% (125) Open Vld, 6.0% (91) CD&V, 5.9% (90) sp.a, and 5.0% (76) Groen. Importantly, only 245 of these statements contain one of the four researched frames (16.0%). This is not a surprise, since a lot of quotes are just factual and too short to contain framing or reasoning devices. The intruder frame is by far the most used frame (73.1%), followed by the victim frame (22.0%), wealth gap frame (3.7%), and win -win frame (1.2%). Vlaams Belang (38.8%) had the most framed statements, shortly followed by N-VA (35.9%). Both parties used the intruder frame the most. In contrast, the other four parties used the victim frame the most. We also found differences in frame use depending on the media type. The overrepresentation of the intruder frame on Twitter and television is related to the dominance of N -VA and Vlaams Belang accounts in these platforms. We also compared the framed statements in the media to the official views as carried out in the parties’ election programs (2014) which turn out to be more neutral, less emotional and comprise more alternatively framed statements about migration.
Keywords
migration, framing, politicians, news media, social media, intruder, victim

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MLA
Van Leuven, Sarah, et al. The Framing of Migration by Flemish Politicians: A Comparative Content Analysis of Newspapers, Television, Facebook and Twitter. 2019.
APA
Van Leuven, S., Deprez, A., Joye, S., Ongenaert, D., & D’Heer, J. (2019). The framing of migration by Flemish politicians: A comparative content analysis of newspapers, television, Facebook and Twitter. Presented at the Digital Fortress Europe, Brussels.
Chicago author-date
Van Leuven, Sarah, Annelore Deprez, Stijn Joye, David Ongenaert, and Joke D’Heer. 2019. “The Framing of Migration by Flemish Politicians: A Comparative Content Analysis of Newspapers, Television, Facebook and Twitter.” In .
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Van Leuven, Sarah, Annelore Deprez, Stijn Joye, David Ongenaert, and Joke D’Heer. 2019. “The Framing of Migration by Flemish Politicians: A Comparative Content Analysis of Newspapers, Television, Facebook and Twitter.” In .
Vancouver
1.
Van Leuven S, Deprez A, Joye S, Ongenaert D, D’Heer J. The framing of migration by Flemish politicians: A comparative content analysis of newspapers, television, Facebook and Twitter. In 2019.
IEEE
[1]
S. Van Leuven, A. Deprez, S. Joye, D. Ongenaert, and J. D’Heer, “The framing of migration by Flemish politicians: A comparative content analysis of newspapers, television, Facebook and Twitter,” presented at the Digital Fortress Europe, Brussels, 2019.
@inproceedings{8633917,
  abstract     = {The current research focuses on the role of frame sponsors, more specifically politicians of the six main Flemish political parties (N-VA, Open Vld, CD&V, sp.a, Groen or Vlaams Belang), in framing the public debate about migration in the news as well as on social media. More specifically, we investigated the presence of four frames: the intruder frame, the victim frame, the wealth gap frame and the win-win frame (Van Gorp et al., 2018). We collected statements on migration or migrants made by Flemish politicians between 1 January 2016 and 30 June 2018 in four different types of media. We selected the five most read national newspapers: Het Laatste Nieuws, Het Nieuwsblad, De Standaard, De Morgen, and De Tijd. The television news items were collected from the 19h daily newscast VTM Nieuws (commercial broadcaster) and 19h daily newscast Het Journaal (public broadcaster VRT, Eén). On Twitter and Facebook, we included the official accounts of the political parties as well as the official accounts of their most important politicians (party leaders, Ministers and State Secretaries in the Federal and Flemish government, party experts on migration). In each of the four media, the units of registration are the statements by Flemish politicians containing at least one of the keywords “migration” or “migrant”. We only selected the verbatim quotes by politicians. The newspaper data were collected through the GoPress database, the TV items through the ENA (Elektronisch Nieuwsarchief) database, the Twitter data using the Twitter API, and the Facebook data by means of a manual scraping (due to practical limitations only the 50 most recent posts). The study was conducted by two independent coders. The intercoder reliability test resulted in strong kappa values (ranging from 0.617 to 1).

We collected 1528 statements of 82 politicians representing the six parties; 47.9% (732) from N-VA, 27.1% (414) Vlaams Belang, 8.2% (125) Open Vld, 6.0% (91) CD&V, 5.9% (90) sp.a, and 5.0% (76) Groen. Importantly, only 245 of these statements contain one of the four researched frames (16.0%). This is not a surprise, since a lot of quotes are just factual and too short to contain framing or reasoning devices. The intruder frame is by far the most used frame (73.1%), followed by the victim frame (22.0%), wealth gap frame (3.7%), and win -win frame (1.2%). Vlaams Belang (38.8%) had the most framed statements, shortly followed by N-VA (35.9%). Both parties used the intruder frame the most. In contrast, the other four parties used the victim frame the most. We also found differences in frame use depending on the media type. The overrepresentation of the intruder frame on Twitter and television is related to the dominance of N -VA and Vlaams Belang accounts in these platforms. We also compared the framed statements in the media to the official views as carried out in the parties’ election programs (2014) which turn out to be more neutral, less emotional and comprise more alternatively framed statements about migration.},
  author       = {Van Leuven, Sarah and Deprez, Annelore and Joye, Stijn and Ongenaert, David and D'Heer, Joke},
  keywords     = {migration,framing,politicians,news media,social media,intruder,victim},
  language     = {eng},
  location     = {Brussels},
  title        = {The framing of migration by Flemish politicians: A comparative content analysis of newspapers, television, Facebook and Twitter},
  year         = {2019},
}