The Media between Freedom and Dependence: The Role of Print Media in the Process of Refugee Return

The project conducts researches into newspaper texts whose contents refer to refugees and displaced persons and the process of refugees and displaced persons return in the Western Balkans. Quantitative and qualitative analysis of texts written in the period 1995 – 2012 and published in the most popular and renowned daily newspapers in Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, intend to reveal how the media in these two countries covered the issue of return process of refugees and displaced persons – to what extent print media facilitated the return process through their impartial and independent reporting, and to what extent their reporting directly reflected official political positions and goals of political elites.

Project Goals:
(1) to conduct a research into the extent and manner in which the print media in Serbia and BiH reported on refugees and displaced persons;
(2) to establish to what extent the print media were the source of objective information which enabled refugees and displaced persons to decide to return (or stay in the places of refuge/displacement);
(3) to establish to what extent the print media acted as tools of political elites in achieving their goals regarding the return of refugees and/or displaced persons.

1. Drafting a working version of methodology guidelines for conducting the research
2. Pilot research into the media documents, analysis of contents of the found newspaper texts, and drafting the preliminary conclusions
3. Consultation on open methodology issue (consultation with an external consultant)
4. Drafting the final version of the methodology guidelines.
5. Conducting a research into the media documents (primary research).
6. Quantitative and qualitative analyses of the (found) relevant newspaper texts
7. Presentation of preliminary results of the two national researches at a regional conference in Sarajevo
8. Drafting final national reports on the research findings
9. Development of methodology framework for comparative analysis of the findings of two national researches and conducting the comparative analysis
10. Publication and public presentation of the findings of two national researches and the comparative analysis

Target Groups: Researchers, journalists and decision makers: academic institutions, civil society organisations, the media, state bodies and institutions, local institutions and governments.

Implementation period: 1. July 2012 – 30 June 2013

Geographic area: Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Serbia

Partners: Faculty of Political Sciences (Sarajevo), Media Centre (Sarajevo), Ebart Media Archive (Belgrade)

Donor: Regional Research Promotion Programme in the field of social sciences in the Western Balkans (RRPP), run by the University in Fribourg upon mandate of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs

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