Between Security and Humanity: Local Media and Societal Actor's Narrative during the 2015-2016 Refugee Crisis in Croatia

Dr. Dario Cepo

This paper answers the following question: how was a refugee narrative framed by Croatian local media and societal actors during the 2015-2016 migrant/refugee crisis? It links two bodies of research: media influence on establishing and maintaining narrative dring the times of crises, and the research on refugee and migrant rights in transitional countries with weak institutions and intolerant societies.
Methodologically, I used content analysis through key words search in two local dailies: Glas Slavonije, a newspaper published in the region which was most affected by the refugee crisis, and Novi list, a newspapers from Rijeka, a city known for its progressive and liberal attitudes. In this sense, it is possible to expect different approaches and dominant attitudes with respect to the source of the article. Second part of the paper stems from analyzing semistructured interviews with key societal actors on the field.
This paper concludes by pointing to the obvious link between societal actors' use of symbolical language and security-vs-humanity tradeoff, and citizens' attitudes toward refugees and migrants, with media acting as a transmitting mechanism of sorts.
Key words: refugees, migrants, Balkan Route, humanity, security, media narrative