Breakfast Briefings

How did the UK national press portray Bulgarians and Romanians prior to the lifting of transitional controls on 1 January 2014?

Breakfast Briefings / 17 October 2014

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On 1 January 2014, transitional controls placed on Bulgarians and Romanians wanting to work in the UK were lifted. From 1 December 2012 to 1 December 2013, arguably a crucial time in the run-up to this important change, UK national newspapers discussed the potential magnitude, impacts, and composition of migrants from these countries. But how did the British national press portray these groups? What kinds of issues were raised in relation to people from these countries?

This briefing will explore these questions using new research from The Migration Observatory, Bulgarians and Romanians in the British National Press: 1 December 2012 – 1 December 2013. Analysing the language used by different sections of the UK national press (tabloids and broadsheets) to describe Bulgarians and Romanians over an entire year reveals clear differences in the kinds of words used to refer to each group. Furthermore, it uncovers a range of numerical figures referring to anticipated numbers of migrants that circulated in the press, despite a continuing lack of official data.

Speaker: Will Allen, The Migration Observatory, COMPAS