The Criminal is Always the Foreigner?!

Author(s)
Azade Esther Kakavand, Damian Trilling
Abstract

Prejudices against minorities are amplified by distorted media coverage that highlights
these groups disproportionally in crime coverage. But while the specifications of alleged
criminals’ affiliations to minority groups—so-called minority signification—has been
studied after key events and between outlets, no research has yet investigated changes
over a longer time, including different key events and outlets. Using a partly automated
content analysis, our research fills this gap with a case study of minority signification in
Germany from 2014 to 2019. We show that first, culturally more distant nationalities are
slightly overrepresented while European nationalities are underrepresented in crime news
compared with German crime statistics. Second, some spikes in the data could be linked
to key events but others remain unexplained. Third, the political-right newspaper
mentions minority affiliations most, the tabloid second, and the political-left outlet
mentions them least. Surprisingly, this pattern changes over the years

Organisation(s)
Department of Communication
External organisation(s)
Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, University of Amsterdam (UvA)
Journal
International Journal of Communication (IJoC)
Volume
16
Pages
1169-1196
No. of pages
28
ISSN
1932-8036
Publication date
2022
Peer reviewed
Yes
Austrian Fields of Science 2012
508007 Communication science, 508014 Journalism
Portal url
https://ucris.univie.ac.at/portal/en/publications/the-criminal-is-always-the-foreigner(841490f8-48b8-4394-962b-df79935d8a7b).html