How Do Certain Newspapers Create Negative Opinions and Generate Blame towards Asylum Seekers?

Essay by RachelNA+, February 2004

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I have decided to look at the way in which asylum seekers are represented in newspaper articles from publications including The Guardian, The Daily Express, The Daily Mail and The Sun. I am interested in this area because of the sheer volume of articles relating to asylum seekers and immigration in today's press, and the way in which negative opinions can, in most cases, arise from these.

I hope to prove that certain publications (for example, the Daily Mail) present a viewpoint which is unfair towards immigrants and can seem to associate most, if not all problems in Britain, in some way or another, with asylum seekers. From reading past articles, I have found that these problems range from the spread of the HIV virus to the trading of organs on the black market. Hopefully, I will be able to present the way in which propaganda can start to set in through these texts, for example, by examining the way in which immigrants are referred to.

I also hope to explain how and why these opinions arise and whether they do exist within the British public (or at least a small portion of which I have surveyed). In contrast to this I will be analysing articles from the Guardian, which has much more sympathetic views towards the situation of asylum seekers in Britain, to illustrate the variation from tabloid ideology to broadsheet ideology.

The texts I am focusing upon include an article from the Daily Mail (June 17, 2003), The Sun (June 16, 2003) and The Guardian (June 22, 2003). These articles discuss the rise in Aids cases in Britain and the link this has with the rise of immigrants coming to Britain seeking asylum.


Firstly, a close analysis of the Guardian article, 'Fortress Britain at Risk of...