Media Quality and Claims-Making about Immigration

When we present results from the SOM project on the politicization of immigration, we often get comments that media quality will have a big impact on our results. The intuition is that high-quality (broadsheet) outlets cover the debate in a fundamentally different way than low-quality (tabloid) newspapers.

In anticipation of potential differences, we sampled newspaper articles from both broadsheet and tabloid papers. In most instances we find very little difference, apparently in line with Koopmans, but judge yourself:

Here’s the topic of the claim, divided into immigration and integration:

ISSUE Broadsheet Tabloid
Immigration 49.8% 48.0%
Integration 50.2% 52.0%

Here is the justification of the claim (“frame”):

FRAME Broadsheet Tabloid
Instrumental 56.2% 62.1%
Identity 11.8% 14.4%
Moral principles 32.0% 23.5%

And here the so-called object actor (who would be affected by the claim?):

OBJECTACT Broadsheet Tabloid
Unspecified 1.7% 2.7%
Organized 9.5% 10.8%
Migration-related groups in society 86.5% 82.2%
Other groups in society 2.3% 4.3%

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