The visual framing of Romanian migrants in the British television documentaries: A constructivist approach

Bianca-Florentina CHEREGI


This paper discusses the role of images in framing the theme of Romanian people migrating to the UK, in the context of the freedom of movement for workers in Great Britain. In doing so, it focuses on the stereotypes about Romanians employed and also on the role of the British journalist in framing the issue of migration to the UK in film documentaries. Using a mixed approach, qualitative and quantitative, combining framing analysis (Entman, 1993) with dispositif analysis (Charaudeau, 2005), this article investigates three film documentaries from BBC: Panorama – The Romanians are Coming? – BBC1, The Truth About Immigration – BBC2 and The Great Big Romanian Invasion – BBC World News. As a conclusion, the results show that the British television mostly use economic (images of pauper Romanian villages), political {images of politicians discussing about the Romanian migrants), and national security (images of homeless Romanians rough sleeping) frames in the coverage of Romanian immigration. The media also infer the polarization between “Us” (the British citizens) and “Them” (the Romanian migrants).

Keywords: media frames, migration, dispositif analysis, stereotypes, visual framing