Divergent Framing: The Public Debate on Migration in the Dutch Parliament and Media, 1995-2004

Parliament and Media – Communication – Civic Forum – Framing

In this article we reconstruct how the issues of migration and integration have been framed in the Dutch public debate over the last decade. We examine the patterns in both the parliamentary arena and the media and look at similarities and differences between them. On the basis of two contradictory theories, we formulate hypotheses about overlap and differences between the two arenas and diversity within them. Our results reveal incongruence in framing between them. After 9/11, however, the framing in which Islam is perceived as a threat to Western society becomes dominant in both arenas. Furthermore, we do not find any proof of the idea that the media act as a civic forum, with a high diversity of framing. Framing in parliament, instead, is far more diverse. In contrast to the hegemonic framing in the media, the Islam-as-threat frame is actively contested in the political realm.

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