The good, the bad and the balanced: a critical analysis of the representation of the black African migrants in the South African Daily News and Daily Sun newspapers, 2016- 2017.
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The number of black African migrants in South Africa keep rising and currently stands at around two million despite the xenophobic attacks (Statistics South Africa's 2011). The post-apartheid era in South Africa has witnessed an influx of both permanent and temporary African and Asian migrants (Enigbokan et al. 2015: 3). The representation of black African migrants in the press remains contested, with some studies acknowledging the dominance of a negative and biased portrayal of Black African migrants in the press (Danso and McDonald 2001). This paper analysed how black African migrants are represented in some of the dominant newspapers in Durban, South Africa. Content and critical discourse analyses were used to examine the keywords, tone and metaphors in newspaper articles to identify how black African migrants are represented. Stories about refugees, immigrants, foreigners and asylum seekers were selected for analysis across 40 news articles in the two newspapers. Data were analysed using a two-step process of content analysis and critical discourse analysis. The research findings from this study indicate that black African migrants in the two newspapers are presented using more negative than positive metaphors. One of the critical findings of this study is the negative association of black African migrants with ‘illegality’, ‘drug dealing’ and ‘crime’. The study noted a few newspaper reports on the successes of migrants. The press tends to cover more of the gory activities of the black African migrants. This study analysed the linguistic character of newspaper content pertaining to black African migrants during the period 2016 – 2017. It then identified significant patterns that are consistent with extant literature on media constructions of migrants and the migration debate. Overall, the study established that black African migrants are portrayed negatively in most news articles.