Framing immigration and integration of immigrants: A computational analysis of Canadian newspapers and sources of bias, 1977–2020.

Yao Robert Djogbenou, Département de Démographie, Université de Montréal
Vissého Adjiwanou, Université Du Québec à Montréal
Solène Lardoux, Université de Montréal

The media play a critical role in shaping public understanding of complex issues such as immigration and integration of immigrants in Western countries. They can play a significant role in shaping public responses to these issues. This paper examines media coverage of immigration and integration of immigrants in Canada between 1977 and 2020. After assembling a corpus of over 29,000 articles spanning four decades from 19 Canadian newspapers diverse in geography, partisan orientation, and scale of circulation, a consistent set of 20 latent topics was identified through an unsupervised machine learning analysis of news coverage on migration and integration. Results from the topic model indicate that multiculturalism, labor migration, and family are the most frequent and relatively consistent topics associated with immigration in media coverage. Humanitarian aspects are relatively unimportant compared to economic and political considerations. We also observe some differences for some topics based on partisan orientation, province, national, or local/regional scale, particularly those related to multiculturalism, language, family, demography, and economy. Overall, this article provides a comprehensive review of Canadian newspaper coverage of immigration and integration of immigrants and identifies specific topics for which media bias is an important contextual factor.

Keywords: Culture, ethnicity, race, religion and language, Digital and computational demography, Migrant populations, Big data / Social media

See extended abstract.

  Presented in Session P20.