Migrants or Refugees, Who is to decide?


The media outlet Fox News, which our group is in charge of, is owned by 21 Century Fox. On wiki, the Fox News is thought to be inclined to be right-winged and republican. Many of the news comments tend to be conservative, and some of the liberal politician refuse to be interviewed by it. I viewed other’s groupwork of media monitoring to find a common topic to contrast, and found that the issue of the refugee is very heated. I fear that this is a topic that may be a bit political and difficult to control, but decided to write on it and pick small pieces of evidence to cut in. So in order to find a media outlet that is different from Fox News, I found that Truth out, which is said to be “ revealing systemic injustice and providing a platform for transformative ideas through investigative reporting and analysis.” I compared the truthout’s “More Than 270 Refugees Dead in One Day; Why Is the US Doing Nothing?” http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/32593-over-270-refugees-dead-in-one-day-why-is-the-us-doing-nothing summaryed by John Kearse and Fox news’s “White House: Obama wants to admit 10,000 Syrian refugees in 2016 to contrast.(http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015/09/10/white-house-obama-wants-to-admit-more-syrian-refugees/?intcmp=hpbt2)

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Different tones can evoke different emotions. Even if it is about the same event, describing it from different ways can have different emotional echo. First let’s take a glimpse of foxnews’ way of reporting.

By mainly stating the damage and inconvenience the “migrants” caused to people’s everyday life, likely to evoke repel for those “migrant” and sympathy for the normal people.

“Passengers aboard one Paris-to-London train said their service was suspended because migrants trying to climb aboard the train damaged fire safety equipment.”

Also, in it the reporter’s word usage is show different tone and attitude with the truthout, by “migrants” “illegally” Germany and Slovakia also were searching for migrants traveling illegally on other Hungarian trains

And then let’s take a look at this paragraph.

The United States is making plans to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees in the coming budget year, a significant increase from the 1,500 migrants that have been cleared to resettle in the U.S. 

It made me feel that the Fox News is more inclined to talk for the government, like stressing the dilemma the government is facing, pointing out the effort and giving in that the government made.

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What about the passage in Truth Out?

First of all, the news used detail that shows the sad view of refugee died in a packed van, which strongly evokes people’s compassion.


“On Thursday August 27, Austrian police examined a large van that had been left in a motorway pull-out about 15 miles from Vienna, and close to the border with Hungary. They were alerted by a police motorway patrol officer, who had seen fluids leaking out the back door. When they opened it up, they found the decomposing bodies of what they estimated to be between 20 and 50 people.

The next day, it was revealed that there were in fact a horrific 71 bodies: 59 men, eight women and four children were crammed into a small space. It’s believed they had been dead for nearly two days.

These Syrians must have been facing truly horrific situations to allow themselves to be packed into this small space and driven away, in total darkness. “


In this paragraph of news, using imagination of what was in face of the Syria people and direct emotional appeal, it is impressive at evoking people’s sympathy.

Also, using the former estimate of 20-50 people to contrast with the real statistic 71 people, to highlight the tragic of this event and make the extreme situation the refugee must have been put in more prominent by pointing out the absurdity of packing so many people in so little room.


“I use the term “refugee” deliberately. As David Miliband, president and CEO of the International Rescue Committee, explained on the PBS NewsHour

“A refugee, defined by the international conventions established after the Second World War, is someone who is fleeing a persecution. They have a – quote, unquote – “well-founded” fear of persecution.

A migrant is someone who is seeking a better life basically for economic reasons. And I think it’s very important to continue to uphold the distinction between the two. The asylum-seeker that you refer to is really a refugee who is applying for asylum in a country in which they land.”

By deliberately pointing out the difference of a refugee and a migrant, the writer made a good point. Obviously, illegal migrants are the headache of many developed country. It seems simply not fair for the migrants to stay in a country where they don’t legally belong to, enjoying the welfare of that country’s citizen while not doing the same duty as them. Those may be people who are seeking a shortcut to a better life which they may not be entitled to, that’s why they may be condemned. And in this particular case, it can be easy to confuse the refugee from the migrant. Are those people coming to the new land to seek for a better life? They are, of course, or why will they take all the risks and torture to come to a total different city? But are they entitled to it? That will depends on whether they can fulfill the condition of being a “refugee”.

It is true that those people are seeking for better life, but that is because the life back home is inhuman and some of them don’t even have the basic right of life and health. They are living in a place where bombs and explosion can happen anywhere and take people’s lives with them mercilessly. Those people are scared of the lack of safety. This can be a feeling that is very hard for us who take a safe environment and right to live as granted. But those people are literally being in a state where their right of living can easily be deprived. That generates the fear, the fear of persecution. They feel they have to leave.

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There are many heartwarming stories of individual citizens in Europe, especially Greeks and Germans, working hard to find ways to help these refugees.

But it’s clear that more action needs to be taken at a national and international level. Ironically, as the tragedies of August 27 were being uncovered, a summit focusing on the how to deal with the refugee crisis was being held in the Austrian capital, Vienna.

By “ironically”, I feel the writer is quite left-winged. Because he shows instant indignation of the government’s “wrong” expression of the summit—calling it a “refugee crisis”, which shows, in his opinion, a “wrong” attitude towards those poor human beings. As we read through, we can easily be evoked a emotion of indignant too, which shows how much a media can shape a reader’s mind.

This in turn shows that the monopoly of the media is wrong, it’s more than wrong. Because every day, we rely on the media to get information, to read about what is happening around the world. While informing us, the media is at the same time educating us. I know how the society stress about the integrity and morality the media person must have, that is to reveal the truth objectively, to the public. But I also know that no one can be 100 percent objective, unless it is a machine. Everyone’s mind is shaped by his or her own life experience and education, and while reporting news or analyzing it, they will use their mind, and their viewpoint will, maybe subconsciously, penetrate into the things they write. And by reading what they wrote, their viewpoint penetrate into us too, subconsciously.

So they make us think in the way they think. And it is not because of people’s immorality, but their limitation. Because it is not immoral for a person to be left-winged or right-winged, but if this person is the only person who has right to speak in various media, to “educate” the public, who can guarantee that the public is not going to think in his or her way? And while a single person’s viewpoint may not be a problem, but when his or her voice is magnified and delivered into everyone’s ear and changing their mind, a left-winged world or right-winged world may be a problem. One-sided is always a problem.

Syrian refugees at Bashabsheh camp in Jordan...epa03308933 A Syrian refugee who fled the violence in his county flashes the victory sign at Bashabsheh refugee camp, at Jordan-Syria Border, Ramtha City, 90Km North of Amman, Jordan, 17 July 2012. Jordan on 10 July said it had begun construction of the countrys first Syrian refugee camp, as part of efforts to cope with a refugee influx that has reached as high as 1,000 people per day. The camp, designed to host up to 5,000 refugees, will be jointly funded by the UN and the JHCO and completed by the end of the week, according to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). EPA/JAMAL NASRALLAH


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