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"The British media's coverage of asylum seekers and refugees is characterised by stereotyping, exaggeration and inaccurate language." Discuss this statement, with reference to at least two newspaper articles.

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Introduction

"The British media's coverage of asylum seekers and refugees is characterised by stereotyping, exaggeration and inaccurate language." Discuss this statement, with reference to at least two newspaper articles. A Cardiff University research team found that in the 12-week period studied in depth, there were fourteen negative front page articles on asylum, more than one per week. The majority of these front pages were in the Daily Mail and the Daily Express. In the two articles we studied, both had negative representations of asylum seekers and gave the audience a biased opinion of refugees seeking asylum and benefits in the UK, just as the statement suggests. The articles use an unflattering use of language to outline what the Mail and Express call an 'overburdening' and 'troublesome' problem. Stereotypical images are portrayed in these newspapers and readers would imagine their 'average asylum seeker' as undeserving, unemployed and just 'scrounging' money from the government. The Mail and Express rely heavily on politicians and dwell on negative statistics, and examples, to represent asylum seekers in a pessimistic light. The articles continually highlighted the amount of money given in 'handouts' as a huge sum of money and other valid comments [such as family sizes] appeared irrelevant. ...read more.

Middle

The article in the Daily Mail highlights the asylum problem and the huge amounts of people who are trying to claim benefits. The story also states the problems such as refugees refusing free flights home and the governments struggle to deport large numbers of failed asylum seekers. An 'average' refugee is represented as a person who would leave their children and family to scrounge together all the cash they could and abandon their loved ones. Another example of negative language is displayed in the Daily Express article, "50,000 bogus asylum seekers to stay." Terms like "Britain, a magnet, for refugees" and "illegal" portray an image of criminals persisting to get into "our" country. As in the Daily Mail article, quotes were not from asylum seekers themselves but politicians and the government. The journalist's use of pyramid writing gets all the negative information crammed into the first paragraph, the section everyone reads first. "An amnesty allowing up to 50,000 asylum seekers to stay in Britain, even though most are living here illegally, was greeted with fury last night." The second paragraph the follows after stating; "Critics warned that the public would be appalled by the controversial move, which would make Britain 'a magnet' for refugees". ...read more.

Conclusion

Love is evident in the picture but the expressions show the reader they are clearly unhappy. The building behind shows it's cramped, impersonal and reminds us of exploitation by landlords. Contrastive conjunctions such as 'shabby', 'crammed' and 'tiny' are used to describe their home and the article focuses on challenging normal representations. "With a baby on the way" and "treating patients in a thriving local practice" have connotations of caring, loving people and the audience will start to become more sympathetic with the new positive light being shown. The article examines the treatment of refugees in the UK and reveals how brutal assaults were the result of racial discrimination. The media should seek to portray asylum seekers and refugees in less stereotypical ways, in particular by including more images of women and children in their reports. 'Handouts' should be replaced by 'benefits' and more quotes from refugees themselves instead of endless statements from politicians and un-sourced government figures. It's offensive and insulting to asylum seekers. Pictures of women and children represent caring people and also show the articles like the Mail and the Express in a negative light. Language like 'everything seemed perfect' and 'her typical day would involve treating patients' help the audience to sympathise with the people whereas in the Mail, it gives the impression we are superior against refugees. Emma Orvis 9G ...read more.

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