Media representations of Sudanese people in Australia: An initial analysis


Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookConference contributionpeer-review


Existing research suggests that media representations influence how migrants experience rights in terms both of how they are viewed by other members of society, and the degree to which they feel empowered to exercise their right to communicate. A critical element of this process concerns the ways in which migrants are represented in the media. To engage with this issue, and related debates around race and multiculturalism, this paper asks: how does the Australian print media represent Sudanese people? To answer this question we conducted a content analysis of articles from The Australian, The Age, and the Herald Sun. 207 articles were collected from 1 September 2007 through 30 April 2008, the eight months surrounding the 2007 Australian federal election. A quantitative content analysis of the articles uncovered four themes: difficulties in Sudan; violence; human interest/new beginnings; and nationhood. Combined, we argue that these themes tend to reproduce and reinforce notions of a White Australian “we” and a non-White “other”. While media representations of Sudanese people are not overtly racist, by locating them within a few critical areas of human experience, a particular image emerges which raises critical questions around belonging and inclusion. Our research also shows the importance of locating everyday media coverage within broader analytic frameworks which understand race, multiculturalism, migration and media as social, political and historical processes.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMedia, Democracy and Change: Refereed Proceedings of the Australian and New Zealand Communication Association Conference 2010
EditorsKerry McCallum
Place of PublicationGold Coast
PublisherAustralian and New Zealand Communication Association (ANZCA)
Number of pages13
ISBN (Print)9781740883191
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes
EventANZCA 2010 - Australia and New Zealand Communication Association: Media, Democracy & Change - University of Canberra, Canberra, Australia
Duration: 7 Jul 20109 Jul 2010


ConferenceANZCA 2010 - Australia and New Zealand Communication Association: Media, Democracy & Change
Abbreviated titleANZCA 2010


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