Controlling compassion: the media, refugees, and asylum seekers
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Allotey, P., Mares, P. and Reidpath, D.D. (2019) ‘Controlling compassion: the media, refugees, and asylum seekers’, in P. Allotey, P. Mares, and D. D. Reidpath, The Health of Refugees. Oxford University Press, pp. 275–294. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1093/oso/9780198814733.003.0015.
This chapter explains the influence of the media in controlling the discourse about humanitarianism, refugees, migrants and asylum seekers. Changing responses to the arrival of several waves of refugees in Australia are used as an example. Media reporting has great power to shape public perceptions of these populations, and the result is often a populist policy response that also ultimately has an impact on access to care and services. In recent years the advent of social media such as Facebook and Twitter has also had a great impact, as exemplified by the almost instantaneous worldwide response to the image of a drowned Syrian child refugee in 2015.