Closing the Distance? Representation of European Asylum Seekers in Israeli Mainstream, Community, and Social Media

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study explores the rhetoric, discourse, visual representation, and news narratives regarding asylum seekers (AS) in the European Union in Israeli media. Integrating cultural representation theory and foreign news proximity-distance approaches, this research focuses on differences in media coverage of AS in the EU between mainstream, community, and social media, and then suggests a model and theoretical implications. The sample included 340 Hebrew language news items from television, print and online newspapers, radio broadcasts, and social media posts from 2011 to 2019. A thematic analysis was conducted. Based on theory of representation, this study found that AS are presented as Others in two different ways based on media type. Community and social media seek to productively compare the Other (AS) to Israelis to encourage concern over Israeli identity and values. In contrast, mainstream media promote narratives that do not invite comparisons—either tacit or explicit—to Israel. Based on proximity-distance approaches, we found that mainstream media content is appropriated by social and community media for different rhetorical ends using a scale of proximity ranging from hostile to hospitable. Community and social media used mainly domestication rhetoric in contrast to mainstream media, which distance the issue, covering it as newsworthy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1150-1167
Number of pages18
JournalJournalism Practice
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2022


  • Asylum seekers in European Union
  • community media
  • cultural representation theory
  • foreign news proximity-distance approaches
  • mainstream media
  • social media

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication


Dive into the research topics of 'Closing the Distance? Representation of European Asylum Seekers in Israeli Mainstream, Community, and Social Media'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this