February 17, 2020


The Media4change movement conducted media monitoring in January to monitor journalistic work on mental health, sexual orientation, migration, religion and national minorities. For the analysis, works were selected based on predefined keywords which discussed the above topics in the context of Lithuanian news.

The analysis carried out reveals how the media portrayed these groups, in what contexts they are shown, how public opinion is formed, how they are politically depicted, and what main perceptions of theirs are created.

National and regional media were monitored during the study period. The research analyses publications on the basis of quantitative (subject and genre distribution) and qualitative (source comparison and headline analysis) criteria.


315 publications on the topic of migration were discovered in the month of January. In 143 out of them migration was the main topic. The keyword “immigrants” was used the most often (in 195 stories), meanwhile “migrant” was used in 131 and “refugee” in 48 stories.

There were 29 copyrighted works on migration; most of them were publicized on the internet. 6 articles out of these were negative. The rest of the publications about migration were mostly neutral news reports from news agencies.

Migrants were cited in eleven out of 315 pieces (14 last month). In 10 out of these 11 cases the persons cited were economic migrants that had migrated to Lithuania, since there was a lot of discourse on their living and working conditions, as well as their impact on the economy. The remaining story focused on the experiences of refugees („Palangiškių širdis Turkijoje virpino karo sudarkyti žmonių likimai“, Palangos tiltas). As for the rest of the publications, experts were quoted the most, especially economists (53 publications).

Topics that were discussed the most: 29 publications on migrants’ impact on the economy, 25 on employment, 24 on Lithuanian migrants in foreign countries, 15 on rescuing migrants at sea, 10 on crossing the border; in 84 articles migrants were mentioned in other stories related to economy, mostly discussing income disparity and changes in demographics and prognoses about the future.

Migrants were mostly mentioned in a neutral context (262 out of 315 publications). The positive context was discovered in 24 publications (14 in December), and negative in 29 (24 in December). Articles demonizing migrants and encouraging obvious stereotypes against them and the migrant crisis in Europe can still be found („Pažįstu didvyrių. Jų daug“, Vienybė).

Negative articles on migrants from Eastern European countries could also be found and centered around discussions regarding the economic impact of migrant workers in Lithuania („Č. Iškauskas. Kuo gresia mūsų meilė imigrantams?“; „Jei nepaklusime, Briuselis nubaus“). It is worth mentioning that the balance between negative and positive pieces is a bit better because there are publications recognizing the benefits of migration.

There was no shortage of headlines inciting the reader against migrants:

„Didelė Ukrainos piliečių migracija į Lietuvą kelia pavojų“ (Large-scale migration of Ukrainian citizens to Lithuania poses a risk) (Vakaro žinios)

„Invazija“ (Invasion) (Vakaro žinios)

„Migrantų kontrabanda – pelningas verslas“ (Migrant smuggling is a profitable business) (Vakaro žinios, valstietis.lt)

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