“Untouched by your Do-gooder Propaganda”

How Online User Comments Challenge the Journalistic Framing of the Immigration Crisis





online news comments sections, online public sphere, immigration crisis, media framing, political polarization


The role of the media in polarizing the debate on immigration has been subject to a growing amount of research; yet little is known about whether and how online comment sections related to news articles on immigration reshape the journalistic narrative. This study examines readers’ reactions to the media coverage by employing a quantitative content analysis of over 6,000 users’ comments responding to 128 online news articles on immigration. It concludes that generally the discussants’ perspective does not differ significantly from the medium’s framing of the issue with one important exception: the human rights frame accentuated by the medium is strictly refused by the discussants. The discussants also bring the economic and cultural aspects of immigration into the debate. The article thus contributes to a more general understanding of the role the users’ discussions play in shaping the debates on controversial political issues.

Author Biographies

Jana Rosenfeldová, Charles University in Prague

Jana Rosenfeldová is a Researcher and Lecturer at the Institute of Communication Studies and Journalism, Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University, Czech Republic. In her research, she focuses on political communication, online political participation, the public sphere and the EU.

Lenka Vochocová, Charles University in Prague

Lenka Vochocová, PhD, is Researcher and Lecturer at the Department of Media Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University, Czech Republic. Her research interests cover the fields of gender media studies, online political participation and deliberation, public sphere theories and the political economy of communication.


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How to Cite

Rosenfeldová, J., & Vochocová, L. (2022). “Untouched by your Do-gooder Propaganda”: How Online User Comments Challenge the Journalistic Framing of the Immigration Crisis. Central European Journal of Communication, 15(2(31), 227-245. https://doi.org/10.51480/1899-5101.15.2(31).3



Scientific Papers