MIMEDIS: The impact of media discourse on attitudes towards migration

KInIT joins forces with the Comenius University in Bratislava to analyse the impact of media discourse on attitudes towards migration, migrants and migration policy in Slovakia.

Over the last decades, especially during the so-called “migration crisis” in 2015, migrants, migration and migration policies have become polarising political issues that have influenced and been influenced by public opinion in many European countries.  

Previous research abroad shows that media-mediated and framed information related to migration, migrants and migration policies plays a key role in shaping public opinion. However, very little is known about the impact of media discourse on attitudes towards migration in Slovakia

The public discussion about migration is particularly important since the Russian invasion of Ukraine. From a technological perspective, there are no analytical tools in the Slovak language for exploration of media discourse based on a robust analysis of a large amount of media content. 

The aim of this project is to implement an integrative research programme on the impact of media discourse on migration attitudes and to develop innovative analytical tools for its implementation. In the project, we leverage the interdisciplinary potential of the research team. This will allow us to use innovative approaches to computational natural language processing combined with expertise in media discourse and migration attitudes research. 

KInIT focuses mainly on research of methods for automated content processing and analysis based on deep neural models, rule-based and other statistical methods for natural language processing, or their combination. We will also oversee the methodological aspects of acquiring and utilising a large collection of Slovak texts, perhaps first of its kind, and its annotation for machine learning.

Together with our partner research teams from Comenius University, led by Andrej Findor and Martin Takáč, we will examine how the messaging in media influences migration attitudes in Slovakia. We will use automated content analysis and complementary qualitative and quantitative observational and experimental methods to explore:

  • the longitudinal dynamics of the relationship between real events, media discourse and migration attitudes;
  • the impact of media representations of migration categories, gender categorical typicality in media representations of migrants, and media signal about migration policy on migration attitudes;
  • and the impact of actual media consumption on knowledge about migration and migration attitudes.

The goal of the project is to develop methods, techniques, resources and tools for automated analysis of textual content focused on migration issues in the Slovak language, which will also be useful for exploring topics other than migration.

Understanding the impact of public discourse on migration can be crucial for preventing or addressing negative impacts and reducing tension in our society. The project is a great opportunity to utilise AI-based methods for social good.

Marián Šimko, Expert researcher, KInIT

Kempelen Institute of Intelligent Technologies


Project team

Marián Šimko
Lead and Researcher
Matúš Pikuliak
Research Consultant
Miroslav Blšták
Research Engineer
Jaroslav Kopčan
Research Engineer
Peter Griger
Research Engineer 03/2022-09/2023