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The Representation of Migrants: Comparing The Daily Express to Gypo and Ghosts

Nick Lacey | Tuesday November 23, 2010

Categories: A Level, AQA A Level, AQA A2, AQA AS, OCR A Level, OCR A2, OCR AS, Eduqas (WJEC) A Level, WJEC A2, WJEC A2 Media Studies, WJEC AS, WJEC AS Media Studies, Film, Documentaries, British, Documentarists, Key Concepts, Representation & Stereotyping


All three A Level Media Studies exam specifications emphasise the study of the representation of difference.

AQA suggests:

A case study of refugees in British newspapers for example, would involve research into, and documentation of, the treatment of refugees in a variety of British newspapers (or possibly just one) to pinpoint the political and social reasons for the construction of such media representations and the possible effects on the audience of newspaper readers. (page 15)

OCR asks:

‘What are the social implications of different media representations of groups of people? [and] Post-9/11 representations of Islam’ (39)

And WJEC expects:

‘candidates… to have studied a range of representations of gender, ethnicity, age, issues, events [and] regional and national identities.’ (11)

This study will compare the Daily Express, a newspaper particularly committed to negative representations of immigrants, to the independently produced films Gypo (2005) and Ghosts (2006).

Daily Express

In 2005 the Daily Express ran the inaccurate headline ‘Bombers are all spongeing (sic) asylum seekers’ (27 July), regarding an attempted bombing in London. The article was inflammatory because it suggested that asylum seekers are sponging and potentially terrorists. The fact that neither men were asylum seekers suggests that the sub editor, who is responsible for the headline, wished to distort the story.

The Campaign for Press and Broadcasting Freedom complained about the inaccuracy, however the Press Complaints Commission (PCC) rejected the charge (see http://www.freepress.org.uk/body.php?subject=press%20complaints%20commission&id=1171) because the story itself did not state the bombers were asylum seekers and because the accused themselves, who were in prison, hadn’t complained about the story.

The PCC is a self-regulatory body that is intended to allow victims of misreporting to have their case heard (see...

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