March 18, 2020

MEDIA MONITORING: FEBRUARY 2020

The Media4change movement conducted media monitoring in February to monitor journalistic work on mental health, sexual orientation, migration, religion and national minorities. For the analysis, works were selected based on predefined keywords which discussed the above topics in the context of Lithuanian news.

The analysis carried out reveals how the media portrayed these groups, in what contexts they are shown, how public opinion is formed, how they are politically depicted, and what main perceptions of theirs are created.

National and regional media were monitored during the study period. The research analyses publications on the basis of quantitative (subject and genre distribution) and qualitative (source comparison and headline analysis) criteria.

MIGRATION

There were 278 publications on the topic of migration in the Lithuanian media in February. In 136 of them, migration was the main topic. Keyword „immigrants“ was used the most often – in 177 stories – while “migrant” was used in 107 and “refugee” 40 stories.

Migrants were cited in 19 publications. 11 out of these cases were Lithuanians who have migrated to foreign countries or migrants who have come back to Lithuania; this is related to numerous stories on Brexit and its impact on Lithuanian migrants residing in the United Kingdom. As for the rest of the publications, experts were quoted the most, especially economists (44 publications) and politicians (33 publications).

Migrants are discussed as part of such topics as Brexit (33 publications), demographics of Lithuania (30), employment (26), economic effects of migration (20), European migration law (18), crime (17).

Stories about crime were news reports about suspected document fraud – immigrants were named as one of the users of this service. Meanwhile, stories on Brexit were mostly analyzing the new conditions, under which Lithuanian migrants in the Great Britain would have to live, as well as forecasting possible population growth in Lithuania.


It is worth nothing that there were more positive articles than negative ones for the first time in 3 months. In the majority of these, economists are positively discussing the impact of migrant workers coming to Lithuania. There is also some noticeable growth in positive articles regarding migrants coming from regions affected by war.

Both national and regional press lacks positive publications about migrants: there was only one positive article, and 9 articles with negative tone found in February. Most of the positive publications on migrants can be found on the internet (27 out of 29).

Positive tendencies are also reflected in headlines:

“Migrant children were learning how to recognize emotions – when they remember their motherland, they smile the most often” (Etaplius.lt, Jonavoszinios.lt)

“I want refugees to feel welcome here” (Žmonės)

Nevertheless, negative headlines can still be found:

“Illegals are continuing to rush to Europe” (Vakaro žinios)

“Ghettos are going to be built in Lithuania? / Foreigners are replacing Lithuanians” (Vakaro žinios)

MENTAL HEALTH

There were 86 publications on the topic of mental health in Lithuanian media in February. In 26 of them mental health was the main subject.

People with mental health disorders were quoted in 2 pieces. In one of them the treatment of such disorders was discussed, and in the other one a person was sharing their personal story. Both articles were published on tv3.lt. It is worth noting that this is a decrease in comparison to the previous month – there were 6 articles that quoted people with mental health disorders in January.

The increase of positive publications is mostly related to the increase of extensive articles on mental health. Articles actively fighting stigma surrounding mental health disorders can also be found („Psichikos sveikatos centro vadovė: „Gaila, žodis „psichiatras“ vis dar kelia neigiamų emocijų“, tv3.lt). Such issues are also discussed in the regional press („Mokinių jausena ne mažiau svarbi nei pažymiai“, gargzdai.lt). This article is one out of 11 publications about kids‘ mental health in February. This increase can be related to 2020 being announced as the year of children‘s emotional well-being.

The word „psycho“, as used by famous entertainment personalities, was encountered more often than usual this month:

“<…> a person really has to look like a total bandit or a psycho in order to run to the Presidential Palace and try to get into the ceremony <…>” (quote from delfi.lt)

“He’s not a psycho. He’s a normal man. Got married, has a job, even wants and is able to have kids. When his and someone else’s personalities don’t match, that’s when the psycho comes into action.” (quote from tv3.lt)



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