Research & Studies

The Western Balkan Migration Route and the Online Media Coverage of Citizens’ Protests

Dragana Kovačević Bielicki, research fellow of iASK has written a new article: The Western Balkan Migration Route and the Online Media Coverage of Citizens’ Protests.

The article was released in Religion & Gesellscahft in Ost und West, 2020, No. 2-3, p. 22-24.


The migrant situation in Europe in 2015 and beyond has resulted in an abundance of anti-migration discourses and practices in the migrant-receiving societies along the migrant route, whether these are regarded as transit or destination countries.  This paper is focused on the online media coverage of the organized anti-migrant protests in three transit countries along the Western Balkan migration route: Serbia, Croatia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina (hereafter BH), in the period between the beginning of 2015 and end of 2019. The aim of the small-scale research this article is based on was to first map and consequently explain the coverage of the perceivably anti-migrant protests in the selected area, starting from the beginning of the so-called migrant crisis. Protests are one of the most visible practices used to express rejection of any social phenomenon, also a practice that tends to attract media attention. Online news media are among the most prominent environments relevant to the reproduction of rejection and othering. By the means of media reports, these practices of rejection and discourses surrounding them get further reproduced. Thus, they can strongly resonate in the society and affect the general attitudes of the host population. The research shows predominantly negative, alarmist portrayal of the migrants characterized by both overt and covert racist and Orientalizing modes of presentation, including text itself and the visual material that accompanies the text.


The article is available in German here after subscription.


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