The unprecedented arrival of more than a million refugees, asylum seekers, and migrants – plus the political, public, and policy reactions to it – is redefining Europe. The repercussions will last for generations on such central issues as security, national identity, human rights, and the very structure of liberal democracies. What is the role of the news media in telling the story of the 2010s refugee crisis at a time of deepening crisis for journalism, as “fake news” ran rampant amid an increasingly distrustful public?

This volume offers students, scholars, and the general reader original research and candid frontline insights to understand the intersecting influences of journalistic practices, news discourses, public opinion, and policymaking on one of the most polarizing issues of our time. Focusing on current events in Greece, Austria, and Germany – critical entry and destination countries – it introduces a groundbreaking dialogue between elite national and international media, academic institutions, and civil society organizations, revealing the complex impacts of the news media on the thorny sociopolitical dilemmas raised by the integration of hundreds of thousands of asylum seekers in EU countries.

chapter |12 pages


Situating the “Refugee Crisis” and Its Sociopolitical Effects through 21st-Century European Journalism

part I|1 pages

Policy, Politics, and Media Discourses from Fortress Europe to Mutti Merkel and Idomeni

chapter 1|11 pages

Welcoming Citizens, Divided Government, Simplifying Media

Germany's Refugee Crisis, 2015–2017

chapter |3 pages

Notes from the Field

One Sentence, Many Misunderstandings: A German Journalist Reflects on Germany's “We Can Do It” Stance

chapter 2|11 pages

The Expectations-Politics-Policy Conundrum

Assessing the Impact of the Migration and Refugee Crisis on the European Union

chapter 3|16 pages

“Fortress Europe”

Representation and Argumentation in Austrian Media and EU Press Releases on Border Policies

chapter 4|12 pages

The Gender Dimension of the Refugee Debate

Progressiveness and Backwardness Discourses in Austrian Press Coverage

chapter 5|14 pages

Empathy Toward Refugees, Apathy Toward Journalism

Hundreds of Thousands of Refugees in Greece, Thousands of Stories, Just a Few Hundred Clicks

chapter |3 pages

Notes from the Field

Real Empathy, Fake News? One Reporter's Experiences on the Frontlines in Northern Greece

part II|1 pages

Civil Society Responses as Another Lens into Public Opinion in Greece, Austria, and Germany

chapter 6|7 pages

Moving On and In

Integration Through Shared and Independent Living Spaces in Greece

chapter 7|15 pages

Tackling the “Refugee Crisis” and Meeting the Educational Needs of Newly Arrived Refugees

Programs for Refugee Teachers and Students in Germany and Austria

part III|1 pages

Journalism at the Border

chapter 10|14 pages

Down and Out and Wet and Bedraggled

Navigating the Emotional and Ethical Maelstrom of Reporting from the Crisis Flashpoint of Idomeni

chapter 11|7 pages

Overcoming the Empathy Gap

Covering Europe's Migrant Crisis for an American Audience

chapter 12|8 pages

Reporting Back to the Migrant Audience

Afghans’ Exodus and Perilous Journey to Europe

chapter 13|13 pages

Avoiding the Traps of the Numbers Game and Caricatures

The Responsibility of Keeping the Factual Record for the World

part IV|1 pages

Journalism and Integration

chapter 14|13 pages

From Empathy to Hostility in 127 Days

The Journey of Austrian Press and TV Coverage

chapter 15|7 pages

Cologne's New Year's Eve Sexual Assaults

The Turning Point in German Media Coverage

chapter |4 pages

Notes from the Field

Fake News and a Profession in Crisis: A Foreign Correspondent Reflects on “Willkommenskultur”

chapter 16|8 pages

Torn between Transparency and Stereotypes

How to Report About Refugees and Crime

chapter 17|6 pages

Widening the Focus

Why Writing About Migration Is More Than Writing About Migrants

chapter 18|7 pages

After the Arrival

Telling Stories of Integration in Germany for a Global Audience

chapter |9 pages


Interplays of journalistic practices, news, public opinion, and policies in Europe's refugee crisis