With this report, Delmi wants to contribute to a gap in Swedish research: studies on the Swedish news reporting on immigration. The purpose of this study is to investigate how Swedish national newspapers report about immigration. Empirically, the study includes news coverage about immigration in Aftonbladet, Dagens Nyheter, Expressen and Svenska Dagbladet between January 1, 2010 and June 30, 2015. The study focuses in particular on two aspects of immigration news coverage: (1) to what extent different types of immigration are covered in the studied newspapers, and (2) the extent to which immigration is framed as a problem versus a resource for Sweden.

Some overall conclusions and recommendations

  • The type of immigration that is absolutely most written about is refugee immigration, while family immigration, labour immigration and re-immigration of Swedish citizens have a hidden place in the news journalistic reporting.
  • Negative depictions of immigration and its impact on Sweden are more common than positive depictions. The most common depiction is that immigration contributes to weakening social cohesion. This is followed by the fact that immigration contributes to crime and to weakening Sweden economically.
  • Given the results of this study, it is likely that the journalistic portrayal of immigration in the news, among other things, contributes to people overestimating the extent of refugee immigration, underestimating other forms of immigration, and that they overestimate the costs and problems associated with immigration.

The report is written by Jesper Strömbäck, professor of journalism and political communication at the University of Gothenburg, Felicia Andersson and Evelina Nedlund.

Picture by AbsolutVision from Unsplash.