A Corpus-Assisted Critical Discourse Analysis of “Migrants” and “Migration” in the British Tabloids and Quality Press

  • Anna BączkowskaEmail author
Part of the Second Language Learning and Teaching book series (SLLT)


The aim of the paper is to study how the problem of mass migration is presented in the British press. Frequency of occurrences of the words “migrants” and “migration” are analysed in four British press titles: two newspapers represent a conservative bias and two a centre-left political alignment; at the same time, two newspapers exemplify quality press and two are tabloids. The methodology used in this study follows a corpus-assisted approach to language analysis, which is conducted in a bottom-up fashion, also known as a corpus-driven study (Tognini-Bonelli 2001). The analysis shows that the representation of the problem of migration in the four British newspapers is generally negative, and the negativity revolves mainly around illegal entry, employment and abuse of the social benefit system, which results in frequent social and political exclusion of migrants on economic and legal bases. Secondly, the conservative press focus on criticising migration and migrants while the labour-oriented press, in particular The Guardian, express compassion and sympathy towards migrants. Moreover, quality papers devote much more space to discussing the problem of migration than tabloids.


Corpus-assisted analysis Critical discourse analysis British press Tabloids Quality press Migration Migrants 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of JournalismNew Media and Mass Communication, Kazimierz Wielki University in BydgoszczBydgoszczPoland
  2. 2.West Kazakhstan State UniversityOralKazakhstan

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