"Lessons will be learned"?: an investigation into the representation of 'asylum seekers'/refugees in British and Scottish television and impacts on beliefs and behaviours in local communities

Donald, Pauline Sarah Moore (2011) "Lessons will be learned"?: an investigation into the representation of 'asylum seekers'/refugees in British and Scottish television and impacts on beliefs and behaviours in local communities. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Printed Thesis Information: https://eleanor.lib.gla.ac.uk/record=b2952204


This thesis examines media representations and audience reception processes through a detailed study of media reporting and public understandings of asylum and refugee issues. It is based on sixty interviews in which refugees seeking asylum, professionals working with them and members of the general public were invited to comment on their own memories and beliefs using pictures from the TV coverage. The pictures used are included in a detailed thematic content analysis of national and regional broadcast news. Public understandings are systematically compared to the content of media reporting. In particular it explore people’s memories and beliefs of national and regional broadcast news. The content analysis revealed that the national news represents asylum in unsubstantiated and problematic ways whilst the regional news has a more balanced approach to representation of the issue. The thesis explores the diversity of audience reactions and the different ways in which people may accept or reject the media representations. However it also draws attention to the themes which recurred in all of the interviews and argues that there is strong evidence of media effects. The thesis highlights factors in media coverage which are particularly influential. It demonstrates how language, structures, and images may influence audience responses and examines how media representations may structure patterns of misinformation. The audience were poorly informed on asylum and refugee issues.

In addition attention is drawn to viewers’ everyday relations and experiences. Some interviewees use specific knowledge to reject news reports. The research provides comprehensive and fruitful insights of cultural differentiation linked to ‘race’/ethnicity, gender, class and geographical location. The thesis concludes by arguing for a media studies schema which connects questions about audience reception with questions about media production and content as well as the construction of broader relations within society enabling researchers to contribute to current debates about power, control and social conditions.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: 'asylum seekers', asylum seekers, refugees, refugees seeking asylum, 'asylum seekers'and UK media, immigration, audience reception, broadcast news, BBC, BBC News, ITN News, Ch 4 News, media influence, media effects, Glasgow Media Group
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Sociology Anthropology and Applied Social Sciences
Supervisor's Name: Philo, Prof. Greg and Kolocotroni, Doctor Vassiliki
Date of Award: 2011
Depositing User: Dr Pauline Sarah Moore Donald
Unique ID: glathesis:2011-3628
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 08 Oct 2012
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2012 14:09
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/3628

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