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The Influence of the Media on Policies in Practice: Hungarian Refugee Resettlement in the Netherlands in 1956

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image of Journal of Migration History

This article analyses newspaper coverage, government policies and policy practices during the 1956 Hungarian refugee crisis. There were surprisingly few differences between newspapers in the coverage of this refugee migration, and few changes over time. The role of the press was largely supportive of government policies, although the press did criticise the selection of refugees. According to official government guidelines, officials should not have selected, but in practice this is what they attempted to do. The refugees who arrived in the Netherlands did not live up to the image the press, in its supportive role, had created: there were too few freedom fighters, women and children. This article shows that the press had an influence because policy makers did make adjustments. However, in practice selection was not what the media assumed it was, and the corrections were not what the media had aimed for.

Affiliations: 1: Leiden University, ; 2: Ministry of Security and Justice,


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