Refugees and Migrants in the Media: The Black Hole

  • Thomas HestermannEmail author


Violence against refugees in Germany is increasing. However, this is rarely an issue in Germany’s predominant daily newspapers and in the evening news of the most watched television stations. Instead, foreigners are mainly viewed as suspected criminals. The long-term comparison of television coverage shows a change in perspective—much more frequently than in previous years, the foreign origin of suspects is highlighted.

The concept of multiculturalism hardly plays a role in reporting. The boundaries between immigrants and natives are described as acute. Integration is usually pictured as problematic. Only in the area of economic integration do success stories stand out against failure stories.

Discussions on integration are dominated by the political parties, the police and the judiciary, experts, and the administration. Refugees and migrants receive very few chances to depict their own perspective. Nongovernmental organizations are rarely quoted.

These are the main results of a content analysis of four German nationwide newspapers and of the news and tabloid magazines of the eight most frequently watched German television stations. This study was conducted at Macromedia University in 2017.


Media stereotypes Crimmigration Journalism Boundary blurring 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Macromedia University of Applied SciencesHamburgGermany

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