“In the end, they are looking for community, for belonging”: An analysis of the role of Metro Vancouver metropolitan and community-based newspapers in the resettlement of Syrian refugees

Date created: 
Race and representation
Refugees and migration
Resettlement and integration
Syrian refugees
Canadian news media

This thesis explores the news media discourses surrounding the resettlement and integration of Syrian refugees in Metro Vancouver and Fraser Valley communities in British Columbia, Canada. Using a combination of content and critical discourse analyses, it examines newspaper articles in major metropolitan and local community newspapers published from September 1, 2015 to October 31, 2017. Media frames and news values were used in the analysis, and several key findings were uncovered that provided regionally specific insight on the newspapers’ treatment of the issue of resettlement. Through the lens of Orientalism, this thesis argues that Syrian refugees are still portrayed as a “dangerous Other” in major metropolitan newspapers, as they tend to replicate negative national news discourses. In contrast, the community newspaper coverage of Syrian refugees is more positive and geared towards helping the refugees successfully integrate in these communities. Thus, while this thesis critically analyzes the news discourses in these community newspapers, it also concludes that these newspapers have a positive role in the resettlement initiative through their dissemination of positive discourses about the new arrivals.

Document type: 
This thesis may be printed or downloaded for non-commercial research and scholarly purposes. Copyright remains with the author.
Senior supervisor: 
Kirsten McAllister
Communication, Art & Technology: School of Communication
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.