Welcome or Over-Reaction?: Refugees and asylum seekers in the Welsh media

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In the 1990s the issue of refugees and asylum seekers has become highly politicised in the UK. Locally, regionally and nationally some politicians have used the issue of refugees claiming asylum in the United Kingdom to gain support for their own political parties. The national media focussed their reporting on the issues in London and the South East (where most asylum seekers and refugees lived) so that for a time it was only the local media in the South East which had a vested interest in reporting on these issues. However the 1999 Immigration and Asylum Act introduced the 'dispersal process', effectively making this a truly national issue, with local media across the UK now increasingly interested in and reporting on refugees and asylum seekers. This research examines how the Welsh local media have covered issues concerning refugees and asylum seekers, even though at the time of this report being published in March 2001, the dispersal process has still not started in Wales. The report results from the work of the 'Asylum Seekers and Refugee Media Working Group' which first met in April, 2000 in the Oxfam offices in Cardiff. It has met monthly since with representatives from Oxfam Cymru, British Red Cross, Save the Children Fund, Barnardo's, Welsh Refugee Council, Presswise (Refugees and Asylum Seekers Media Project), Cardiff Council and Newport County Council's Press Relations Unit and The Tom Hopkinson Centre for Media Research, affiliated with the Wales Media Forum, located in the School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies, Cardiff University
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  WELCOME OR OVER-REACTION? REFUGEES AND ASYLUM SEEKERS IN THE WELSH MEDIA Tammy Speers WALES MEDIA FORUMFFORWM CYFRYNGAU CYMRU  1 The Wales Media Forum exists to promote research and debate about media andcommunication issues affecting Wales.Supported by key organisations in the media sector, it is based at the Centre for Journalism Studies at Cardiff University. The views expressed in Wales MediaForum are those of the author, not the institution.If you would like more information about the Forum, or to order any of its publications, contact:E mediaforum@cardiff.ac.uk T 029 2087 4041F 029 2023 8832The Centre for Journalism Studies of Cardiff University is Britain’s largest and oldestinstitution of its kind. Founded in 1970 by the legendary editor of Picture Post, Sir Tom Hopkinson, the Centre is entirely post-graduate, and provides 130 students withtraining in every aspect of journalism and public relations each year.Cardiff puts particular emphasis on its links with the Welsh media, with graduatesworking across Wales in broadcasting, newspapers and public relations. Itsinternational ties are equally strong.It was a founding a member of the European Journalism Training Association andthrough its ‘Reporting’ series of international conferences, has brought the world’sleading editors to Wales for gatherings that have looked at reporting on Europe,Japan, business, the environment and recently, Africa.Every media validating body in Britain recognises the Centre’s courses and endorsesits demanding training. Its staff of media professionals is headed by Ian Hargreaves,the Centre’s Director.  2 WELCOME OR OVER-REACTION? REFUGEES AND ASYLUM SEEKERS IN THE WELSH MEDIA Tammy Speers Asylum Seekers and Refugees Media Working Group WALES MEDIA FORUMFFORWM CYFRYNGAU CYMRU  3 PUBLISHED BY:WALES MEDIA FORUM School of Journalism, Media and Cultural StudiesCardiff UniversityBute BuildingKing Edward VII AvenueCardiff CF10 3NBFirst published 2001Copyright @ Tammy Speers, 2001All rights reserved. Except for quotation of short passages for the purpose of criticismand review, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrievalsystem, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the publisher or as expressly permitted by law, or under terms agreed with the appropriatereprographics rights organisations.ISBN 0-9540400-0-7
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