"When you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meagre and unsatisfactory kind; it may be the beginning of knowledge, but you have scarcely, in your thoughts, advanced to the stage of science, whatever the matter may be."
Lord Kelvin

Refugee Crisis in Hungary – 2015. A Content Analysis of Articles from on-line Version of Eight News Outlets

1 October 2016

The paper explores how the international media dealt with refugee crisis in Hungary between March and September 2015. We selected all articles from The New York Times, The Washington Post, Le Monde, Le Figaro, Mirror, The Telegraph, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and Süddeutsche Zeitung  which contained the words “Hungary” or “Hungarian” or “migrant” or “migration”. Our sample contains 1,518 news articles. During the analysis we used the technics of quantitative and qualitative content analysis.

According to our results, four different topics got significant attention in the international news: (i) closing the borders and the building of the barbed wire fence; (ii) physical violence against refugees committed by Hungarian authorities; (iii) anti-refugee attitudes and xenophobia; and (iv) the chaos within the Hungarian government and bureaucracy, the ineffectiveness of the authorities. The image of the Hungarian refugee crisis and the government’s actions in the international media was dominated by xenophobia, the enforcement of coercive measures, criminalisation of refugees, chaos, conflicts and the suffering of the refugees. The statistical analysis of the photos linked to the articles shows that the international media framed the refugee crisis in the Hungarian course of events almost unanimously with the notions of police (coercive force), chaos, suffering and conflict. The Hungarian state appears to be a police state in those pictures.

English Summary ( pdf )

Paper in Hungarian ( pdf )