Different Effects on Different Immigrant Groups: Testing the Media’s Role in Triggering Perceptions of Economic, Cultural, and Security Threats From Immigration

Nora Theorin


Immigration has become increasingly politicized in Europe, and many countries have implemented more restrictive immigration policies. An important driver of this development is perceptions that immigration constitutes a threat toward the host country—perceptions potentially triggered by the media. The purpose of this study is to investigate (a) how news consumption influences different perceptions of threat from immigration from different regions, and (b) whether potential effects are robust across countries. Among other things, the results from a panel survey (N = 6,428) conducted in six European countries—Germany, Hungary, Poland, Spain, Sweden, and the UK—suggest that news consumption is more powerful in triggering perceived threats about non-European immigration than European immigration. However, the effects vary across countries, implying that such things as universal effects of news consumption do not exist.


news consumption, immigration, comparative research, panel survey, threat perceptions, intergroup threat theory

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