Media Framing of the Refugee Crisis at the Periphery of Europe


  • Ana Milojević University of Bergen, Department of Information Science and Media Studies; University of Belgrade, Faculty of Political Science
  • Kristina Milić University of Belgrade - Faculty of Political Science



refugee crisis, framing analysis, media, Serbia


The recent European refugee crisis, which began in 2015, has generated academic interest in how media portray and frame migrations and refugees, specifically in their influence on how “We” perceive and accept “Them” in “Our” societies. However, research primarily focuses on EU member states and destination/receiving countries. Therefore, our study examines media framing of the refugee crisis in Serbia between 2015 and 2016. Building on frames previously identified in the Western context, we pre-defined three frames: viewing the refugee crisis as a problem for the political system, society, or refugees. These frames were coded as external/internal based on whether the media text discussed the crisis outside/inside Serbia. Our deductive análisis shows that framing differs from destination countries, with a minimal emphasis on social problems in Serbia. Political issues and challenges faced by refugees were dominant but externalized, showing a slight decline over time compared to the social problem frame, which followed real events. Furthermore, our inductive thematic analysis reveals a new way of framing refugees as a problema for the free movement of our citizens. It also reveals a meta-frame of “Us” (in Serbia) as acting in a humanitarian manner amid hard circumstances created by “Them” (Western politicians) who are not handling the crisis in line with the EU values.


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How to Cite

Milojević, A., & Milić, K. (2023). Media Framing of the Refugee Crisis at the Periphery of Europe. Tripodos, (53), 10–31.

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