“Untouched by your Do-gooder Propaganda”
How Online User Comments Challenge the Journalistic Framing of the Immigration Crisis
Keywords: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.
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