International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

Lebanese Newspapers Framing of Syrian Refugees: A Content Analysis
Liliane Karam, George N. Farha

The media has always played a conventional role in shaping public perceptions on critical social events. Syrian refugees have escaped to Lebanon in enormous numbers since the start of the war in their country in 2011. Evacuees are evaluated at anywhere in the range of 1.3 to 1.5 million, with unregistered numbers moving toward 2 million, in comparison with Lebanese population assessed at 4.5 million. At the onset of the emergency, pressure grows, policies develop, and relationships between refugees and host communities become unsteady. The purpose of this study is to showcase how Syrian displaced refugee stories overwhelm Lebanese daily newspapers. By using the framing theory as a mechanism, this study scrutinizes the prejudice content manifestation of socio-cultural, economic, security, and humanitarian related news with a subsequent attempt at investigating how news media help shaping the attitudes and perceptions of the Lebanese public towards the Syrian crisis. A quantitative content analysis is used to analyze a sample of news articles from four national newspapers. Results show that prejudice coverage fosters socio-cultural, economic, and security threat perceptions among the Lebanese public, despite the positivity in covering humanitarian refugees’ stories.

Full Text: PDF