That Little Drowned Boy on the Beach’: Child Refugees and the Tabloid Media


Hannah Ryan

Dr Katherine Tonkiss

Dr Katherine Tonkiss

This blog post is based on Hannah Ryan’s undergraduate dissertation project, which examined the representation of Syrian child refugees in the British tabloid media.

Existing academic knowledge has shed light on how the tabloid media constructs the figure of the migrant as a threat – typically a young and healthy male. Because of this stereotypical image, the tabloid media often portray refugees as undeserving and constructs an ‘us and them’ narrative in which the refugee is an ‘alien’. Yet it is also important to note that a focus on the strong male stereotype means that the media portrayal of other – often more vulnerable – refugees such as children, women and the elderly is not the subject of extensive academic attention. Continue reading