The current research examines television news as a contextual determinant of intergroup threat from North African immigrants in Flanders (i.e. the northern part of Belgium). We content analyse the prevalence of intergroup threats in television news over an eleven-year period (2003–13), and take an experimental approach to examine the impact of these threatening news stories on perceived threats from North African immigrants. The content analysis revealed that (combinations of) safety and cultural issues were widespread in television news content. Experimental evidence showed that exposure to safety and cultural issues in news content increased perceptions of safety and cultural threat accordingly, but exposure to economic issues revealed no effect for economic threat. We conclude by emphasizing the potential of television news content in affecting perceptions of intergroup threat, particularly for those threats which are commonly present in the news and readily accessible in natives’ minds.

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Ethnic and Racial Studies

van der Linden, M., & Jacobs, L. (2017). The impact of cultural, economic, and safety issues in Flemish television news coverage (2003-2013) of North African immigrants on perceptions of intergroup threat. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 40(15), 2823–2841. doi:10.1080/01419870.2016.1229492