Media effects on policy preferences toward free movement: evidence from five EU member states

Author(s)
Christine Meltzer, Jakob-Moritz Eberl, Nora Theorin, Tobias Heidenreich, Jesper Strömbäck, Hajo Boomgaarden, Christian Schemer
Abstract

In a time when freedom of movement is being challenged by an increasing number of European Union member states, and where immigration has been dominating public debate for years, this study investigates the effects (i.e. frame salience and frame sentiment) of migration news on individuals’ attitudes about free movement. We are taking into account respondents individual media diet by linking a two-wave online survey in five European countries (n = 7,794) with an automated content analysis of online news coverage in these countries (n = 26,696). Findings indicate that overall the salience of specific frames (i.e. labour market and security), as well as sentiment, positively influence free movement attitudes among citizens. However, there are country-specific differences for both salience and sentiment effects. These findings have implications for our understanding of media effects on immigration attitudes and policy preferences as well as for comparative media effects research in general.

Organisation(s)
Department of Communication
External organisation(s)
University of Gothenburg, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
Journal
Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies
Volume
47
Pages
3390-3408
ISSN
1369-183X
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1080/1369183X.2020.1778454
Publication date
06-2020
Peer reviewed
Yes
Austrian Fields of Science 2012
506012 Political systems, 508012 Media impact studies
Portal url
https://ucris.univie.ac.at/portal/en/publications/media-effects-on-policy-preferences-toward-free-movement-evidence-from-five-eu-member-states(9f1aa39e-7e1f-4267-b0b2-66622c13ba46).html