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Good Rohingyas, Bad Rohingyas: How Narratives of Rohingya Refugees Shifted in Bangladesh Media, 2017-2019
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This study investigates how Rohingya refugees were framed in Bangladeshi media outlets from August 2017 to December 2019. Rohingyas are ethnic and religious minorities in Myanmar’s Rakhine state who have faced persecution since after the post second world war. The majority of Rohingyas fled to neighboring Bangladesh after a massive crackdown in Rakhine state in August, 2017. A total of 914,998 Rohingyas are now residing in refugee camps in Bangladesh (as of September 30, 2019). The current study uses framing theory and a qualitative content analysis of 448 news stories and opinion pieces of six daily newspapers and two online news portals. This study examines the dominant frames used by Bangladeshi news outlets to describe Rohingya refugees. The study then goes on to investigate how those frames shifted over time from August 2017 to December 2019. It also investigates whether framings vary based on character of the news outlets and their ideologies. The findings suggest that the frames varied over time, and online news outlets were more hostile towards refugees than mainstream newspapers. Contrary to previous research, this study finds that right-wing news outlets are pro-refugees in Rohingya crisis.