Putting ‘Australians’ first: Australian news media construction of temporary migration and migrants
thesisposted on 29.03.2022, 00:41 authored by Bhavna Datta
This study focuses on Australian news media representations of temporary migration and migrants. It is driven by the question: what dominant discourses do contemporary news media produce of temporary migration and migrants? The question is answered by critically examining media discourse relating to the abolition of temporary work visa for migrants, popularly referred to as the ‘457 visa’. Fifteen online news articles from three Australian newspapers collected between 2017 and 2018 form the data for analysis. The study employs a multidisciplinary framework drawing from cultural studies, media studies and communication studies. It uses critical discourse analysis as its method and framing analysis as a tool to explore representations in dominant discourse to understand the construction of temporary migration and migrants by media. The analysis of media discourse on temporary migration reveals ideological representations. Within the dichotomy of ‘us’ and ‘them’ that govern media representations, temporary migrants form the ‘them’. This ideological position and binary nature is presented within the frame of ‘Australian national interest’. This leads to the perception of temporary migration and migrants as a threat to the nation and, consequently, a social problem that needs to be addressed. The abolition of the 457 visa is legitimised as the solution to the problem in news media discourse. The study argues that such representations have significant consequences for Australian society.