Framing the issue of asylum seekers and refugees for tougher refugee policy: A study of the media’s portrayal in post-colonial Hong Kong

Fung Sheung Isabella NG, Sharice Fungyee CHOI, Alex Lihshing CHAN

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1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Policy-makers often refer to media reports and public opinion polls when advocating immigration policies. A good example of this is provided by Hong Kong, an international financial hub that prides itself on its multiculturalism and pluralism, but whose government officials and pro-establishment legislators have been calling for tougher measures because of a plethora of negative news reports on immigrants. This study examines how print media frames the issue of asylum seekers and refugees, with the findings indicating that the majority of local Chinese news articles portray asylum seekers negatively as "fake refugees" and "criminals." The study also examines newspapers' framing of the causes of requests for asylum and their recommendations for dealing with the "problem": (1) setting up detention camps, (2) enforcing stricter border control, and (3) withdrawing from the UNCAT. It argues that the negative framing provides justifications for anti-refugee policy-makers to suggest tougher policy solutions to the issue of asylum seekers and refugees. Policy implications are discussed which may affect Hong Kong's position as a first-class global city. Copyright © 2018 Springer Nature B.V.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)593-617
JournalJournal of International Migration and Integration
Volume20
Issue number2
Early online dateSep 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2019

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asylum seeker
refugee
Hong Kong
detention camp
news report
opinion poll
print media
immigration policy
multicultural society
pluralism
public opinion
newspaper
news
immigrant
cause

Citation

Ng, I., Choi, S. F., & Chan, A. L. (2019). Framing the issue of asylum seekers and refugees for tougher refugee policy: A study of the media’s portrayal in post-colonial Hong Kong. Journal of International Migration and Integration, 20(2), 593-617. doi: 10.1007/s12134-018-0624-7

Keywords

  • Framing
  • Asylum seekers
  • Refugees
  • Hong Kong
  • Print media