Framing Migration in the Twenty-first Century

By: Gabriel Huland  

This essay engages with the media discourses around the migrant caravan that made its way from Honduras to the Mexican border city of Tijuana in 2018/2019. Drawing on the idea of news framing, it analyses and compares the coverage of the caravan in two newspapers, the Washington Post (United States) and El Universal (Mexico). The author compiled news and op-ed articles in order to identify news frames and situate them in the context of both countries. This contribution sheds some light on how the mainstream press frames migration in both Global South and Global North countries. The UNHCR estimates that, by the end of 2017, approximately 68.5 million people had been forcibly displaced from their home countries. This unparalleled quantity of migrants is one expression of a systemic crisis that shapes the contemporary world order. Forced migration takes place against the backdrop of civil wars, unemployment, and growing poverty across the world. In response to it, the political elites in many countries receiving migrants have proposed an agenda consisting of increased border securitisation and the criminalisation of migration. The migrant caravan received a large amount of media coverage. On the one hand, this relates to the increasingly international focus of most mainstream media platforms. On the other, it is explained by the singularities of the caravan movement The paper addresses these and other issues, combining the empirical analysis of news articles with a theoretical discussion about migration and media power.

News Framing, Migration, Media Power, Broder Security, Cross-National Case Study
Media Cultures
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Gabriel Huland

PhD Candidate, Media Studies, SOAS, University of London, United Kingdom
London, United Kingdom

I am currently pursuing my PhD at SOAS, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. I've worked as a freelance journalist for more than ten years, with experience in Brazil, Central America, Germany and Spain. My interests are international politics, media content analysis, social movements, Latin America and the Middle East.