Victims or perpetrators? Explaining media framing of Roma across Europe

Anne C. Kroon*, Alena Kluknavská, Rens Vliegenthart, Hajo G. Boomgaarden

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)


Discrimination against Roma is a reality across Europe. The extent to which stereotyped, discriminatory beliefs of this minority group are reflected or reinforced by news media has received only limited attention. This study investigates media framing of Roma and explains variation in how European news media frame Roma in diagnostic and prognostic terms. We content analysed 825 news articles from newspapers in the Netherlands, Germany, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and the United Kingdom for the period 2010–2012. Results show that attention for Roma is clustered around key-events and differs considerably between countries. Our analyses of frame variation, based on multilevel modelling, indicate a duality in the use of frames, with Roma being both portrayed as victims and perpetrators. Variation in these portrayals could be ascribed mainly to sources and newspaper types. This study contributes to our understanding of the factors that account for problem-emphasizing portrayals of Roma in European countries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)375-392
Number of pages18
JournalEuropean Journal of Communication
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Content analysis
  • cross-country comparison
  • issue-specific framing
  • multilevel modelling
  • Roma


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