Measuring Gender in News Representations of Refugees and Asylum Seekers

Lindsey E. Blumell, Glenda Cooper


This study examines the influence of gender in asylum news coverage. Through a content analysis of UK print and online news media (N = 2,018), we examine the gender of the reporter and the gender of the refugee or asylum seeker. The individual and routines levels of gatekeeping are used to show how both impact news coverage. All reporters used a similar story format, but women reporters focused significantly more on women, health and social issues, and culture and sports. Women reporters also used more nongovernment sources. Men reporters covered terrorism and violence committed by refugees and asylum seekers significantly more. Reporting by men receives greater prominence as men reporters had twice as many bylines as women reporters. Furthermore, men refugees and asylum seekers were identified eight times more than women—but mostly in connection to crime, terrorism, and violence. Women refugees and asylum seekers were usually connected to health and social issues.


refugees, asylum seekers, gender, news topics, source use, gatekeeping

Full Text: