- Top News
- Press Releases
How do the media in western and eastern Europe report on migration and flight? An analysis in 17 countries finds blind spots, national peculiarities – and diversity of opinion. That is the result of a study funded by the Otto Brenner Foundation and conducted by the European Journalism Observatory at TU Dortmund University.
For the first time, it investigates what role the media play in the discussion on migration in a large number of countries in different regions of Europe. The analysis concludes that quantity and quality of reporting differ widely. Particularly interesting as far as Germany is concerned: The perspective of the German media differs fundamentally from that of other European media. According to the data of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Germany is today one of the five most important host countries – alongside Uganda, Pakistan, Turkey and Sudan. This exceptional situation is reflected in the media: With the exception of another special case – Hungary – in no other EU country are migration and flight reported on so extensively as in Germany.
In the six weeks between August 2015 and Match 2018 chosen for examination, the two German media analyzed – the Süddeutsche Zeitung and the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung – together published over 1,000 articles. By comparison: Above all in many eastern European countries less (or infinitesimally more) than 100 articles appeared in the same period. The exception is Hungary, whose prime minister Viktor Orbán made his mark as Angela Merkel’s opponent in the controversy on how to deal with refugees – as a matter of fact the Hungarian media published over 1,500 articles on the topic of migration and flight.
Study shows different reporting in Europe
Germany’s special role can also be seen in the country comparison: No other government features as much in reports at international level as Germany’s; Angela Merkel features more often as the central figure than any other politician.
The study shows how reporting differs within Europe. For Germany – like for Italy and Greece – migration and flight have an immediate impact on their own countries and many reports are also concerned with events there. By contrast, these are treated as foreign affairs topics in the other EU countries: They are things taking place a long way from home, beyond one’s own borders. At least the French, British and Hungarian media highlight international negotiations in their reports. Some reports are even concerned with specific groups of migrants: In Italy, the focus is on groups from Africa, in France they occupy just as much space as refugees and migrants from the Middle East. Immigrants from the Middle East are the media focus in most other European countries – in the Italian newspaper La Stampa they are not mentioned in a single article. For the media in Russia as well as in Poland, Belarus and Ukraine, migration and flight from Ukraine were also an important topic – one scarcely mentioned by “western” media in the period under investigation, although over two million people (according to estimates by international organizations) have fled from there in the face of armed conflict since 2014.
Germany ranks top in reporting on refugee aid
The reporting emphasis also differs significantly. Problems with migrants and refugees as well as protests are more than twice as often the focus of eastern European media than of western ones. In contrast, reports on the situation of these people and on relief efforts find their way into western European media somewhat more frequently. Here, Germany yet again has a special role: In no other country under investigation is the topic of “support for migrants and refugees” reported on so extensively.
The European Journalism Observatory is based at TU Dortmund University
The European Journalism Observatory (EJO), which conducted the study, is a network of 12 journalism institutes at universities throughout Europe and received the Günter Wallraff Critical Journalism Award in 2019 for its work. The EJO is based at the Erich Brost Institute of International Journalism of TU Dortmund University. About 2,500 articles from six representative weeks under investigation between August 2015 and March 2018 were included in the EJO analysis.
Contact for further information:
Search and find
Location & approach
The campus of TU Dortmund University is located close to interstate junction Dortmund West, where the Sauerlandlinie A 45 (Frankfurt-Dortmund) crosses the Ruhrschnellweg B 1 / A 40. The best interstate exit to take from A 45 is "Dortmund-Eichlinghofen" (closer to Campus Süd), and from B 1 / A 40 "Dortmund-Dorstfeld" (closer to Campus Nord). Signs for the university are located at both exits. Also, there is a new exit before you pass over the B 1-bridge leading into Dortmund.
To get from Campus Nord to Campus Süd by car, there is the connection via Vogelpothsweg/Baroper Straße. We recommend you leave your car on one of the parking lots at Campus Nord and use the H-Bahn (suspended monorail system), which conveniently connects the two campuses.
TU Dortmund University has its own train station ("Dortmund Universität"). From there, suburban trains (S-Bahn) leave for Dortmund main station ("Dortmund Hauptbahnhof") and Düsseldorf main station via the "Düsseldorf Airport Train Station" (take S-Bahn number 1, which leaves every 20 or 30 minutes). The university is easily reached from Bochum, Essen, Mülheim an der Ruhr and Duisburg.
You can also take the bus or subway train from Dortmund city to the university: From Dortmund main station, you can take any train bound for the Station "Stadtgarten", usually lines U41, U45, U 47 and U49. At "Stadtgarten" you switch trains and get on line U42 towards "Hombruch". Look out for the Station "An der Palmweide". From the bus stop just across the road, busses bound for TU Dortmund University leave every ten minutes (445, 447 and 462). Another option is to take the subway routes U41, U45, U47 and U49 from Dortmund main station to the stop "Dortmund Kampstraße". From there, take U43 or U44 to the stop "Dortmund Wittener Straße". Switch to bus line 447 and get off at "Dortmund Universität S".
Dortmund Airport offers flights to several destinations in Central Europe. There are regular connections to Katowice, Kraków, London and Munich. For the approximately 20km-trip from Dortmund Airport to TU Dortmund University, you can use a shuttle bus to the railway Station "Bahnhof Holzwickede", from which trains depart to Dortmund main station (please visit Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Ruhr for more information). Normally, the fastest way is to catch a taxi at Dortmund Airport.
The H-Bahn is one of the hallmarks of TU Dortmund University. There are two stations on Campus Nord. One ("Dortmund Universität S") is directly located at the suburban train stop, which connects the university directly with the city of Dortmund and the rest of the Ruhr Area. Also from this station, there are connections to the "Technologiepark" and (via Campus Süd) Eichlinghofen. The other station is located at the dining hall at Campus Nord and offers a direct connection to Campus Süd every five minutes.