The Refugee Issue in the Greek, German, and British Press During the Covid-19 Pandemic

Open Access Journal | ISSN: 2183-2439

Article | Open Access | Ahead of Print | Last Modified: 13 May 2022

The Refugee Issue in the Greek, German, and British Press During the Covid-19 Pandemic


  • Nikos Fotopoulos Department of Social and Education Policy, University of Peloponnese, Greece
  • Andrea Masini Spokesperson’s Service, European Commission, Belgium / University of Antwerp, Belgium
  • Stergios Fotopoulos Media Relations Unit, Council of the European Union, Belgium / Vrije Universiteit Brussels, Belgium


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Abstract:  The media hold an essential role in circulating information, disseminating knowledge, constructing representations, shaping ideologies, and influencing contemporary societies. Since the outburst of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, their attention has been mostly paid to the protection and the health situation of citizens worldwide. Although millions of refugees are also exposed to a new risk with their vulnerable position being deteriorated, the refugee issue in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic seems to have been downgraded. In this regard, the current article explores to what extent the refugee issue was salient in the Greek, German, and British press during the pandemic. At the same time, it looks at how the media outlets in all three countries addressed it, focusing on the key topics reported and the interpretive schemata of the pertinent coverage. We use a qualitative content analysis, examining a sample of newspaper articles that were published between 1 January 2021 and 1 May 2021. The results presented by this article suggest that the epidemiological developments or other health aspects related to local populations seem to overshadow the situation of refugees. Yet, media outlets mostly perceive refugees as victims of the pandemic, underlining their vulnerability and marginalisation in health, economic, and education terms. The findings seek to feed the public discussion, providing a fruitful approach to the media narratives and representations of refugees during the Covid-19 crisis.

Keywords:  Covid-19; frame analysis; media discourse; media representations; pandemic; refugees

Published:   Ahead of Print

Issue:   Media and Migration in the Covid-19 Pandemic: Discourses, Policies and Practices in Times of Crisis (Forthcoming)

DOI: https://doi.org/10.17645/mac.v10i2.4942


© Nikos Fotopoulos, Andrea Masini, Stergios Fotopoulos. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.