Communication, media and discourse

Discourses on migration in social media, mass media and policy

Evaluation of the multilingual website and strengthening digital competences of applicants for Internationa Protection

Description: This two-year research project (1/2021 – 12/2022) is situated in the domain of multilingual and intercultural (digital) communication. The project aims to evaluate the multilingual Fedasil website ( through a qualitative-quantitative analysis. Three data-sets were collected and analysed: (a) in-depth interviews and/or focus discussions (N=63) with applicants for international protection; (b) screen recordings of user experiences (N=26) while consulting the website; (c) a survey conducted among staff working in the reception sector (N=174). Guided by the conclusions of this research, the follow-up research project 2022 aims to improve the basic digital competences of applicants for international protection by (1) identifyng the target audience, needs, and possible training opportunities (survey research) and (2) developing training initiatives and supporting tools.
Website research project:
Promoter(s): July De Wilde , Katrijn Maryns , Ellen Van Praet
Researcher(s): Simon Hendrickx , Sari Goukens
Faculty / Faculties: Faculty of Arts and Philosophy
Period of time: 2021 - 2022

Facework and multimodality. A comparative study of on-site interpreting and video-remote interpreting.

Description: The aim of this project is firstly to map out the different face-work strategies adopted by interpreters in dialogue interpreting. The focus is on both verbal and non-verbal face-work. Secondly, this project will look at face-work in different forms of interpreting, on-site interpreting and video-remote interpreting, and how interpreters deal with the specificities of those two modes. Thirdly, the project will explore the interpreter's own judgments, experience and strategies when it comes to face-work. Several studies have individuated different verbal strategies adopted by interpreters to cope with face-work, both of the primary participants’ and of their own. As regards the non-verbal strategies, however, little to no attention has been given to finding out how these come into play. Further research is required to obtain a clearer view on how non-verbal behaviour can influence face-work.
Promoter(s): July De Wilde , Jelena Vranjes
Researcher(s): Dries Cavents
Faculty / Faculties: Faculty of Arts and Philosophy
Period of time: 2021 - 2025

Interpreter-mediated interviews: police and municipal contexts

Description: The following research questions are investigated: how do interpreters relate to written reports being drafted during interpreter-mediated encounters and what determines the performance and conduct of interpreters most, their professional status or the context in which they operate?
Website research project:
Promoter(s): Bart Defrancq , Antoinette Verhage , Mieke Vandenbroucke
Researcher(s): Sofie Verliefde , Helena Snoeck
Faculty / Faculties: Faculty of Arts and Philosophy
Period of time: 2018 - 2026

On the (not so) persuasive potential of metaphorical language in news media communication. Framing the Latin-American migration debate through metaphor

Description: The persuasive function of metaphors has long been taken for granted. Because of their ability to structure abstract topics in terms of concrete domains of experience, while ""emphasizing"" some aspects of the topic of conversation and ""hiding"" others, metaphors in the news media are considered a powerful tool for influencing people's thinking and actions. Recently, this assumption has come under increasing fire due to shaky empirical support and conflicting experimental evidence. This project sheds light on the controversial persuasive power of metaphors in the media. Using El Diario's coverage of the Latin American migration debate, it attempts to address the shortcomings of previous approaches to metaphors. Rather than relying solely on close-text analysis, this study takes real media producers and consumers seriously in its account of metaphorical patterns.
Website research project:
Promoter(s): Renata Enghels , Geert Jacobs
Researcher(s): Laurence De Backer
Faculty / Faculties: Faculty of Arts and Philosophy
Period of time: 2021 - 2025

Refugee for sale? A multi-methodological research project on international refugee organizations’ public communication strategies towards the Syrian and Central African displacement crises (2011-2018)​

Description: While the world is currently facing one of modern times’ worst refugee crises, many countries are implementing restrictive refugee policies. Hence, public communication has become essential for refugee organizations' operations. As (international) refugee organizations significantly contribute to the public perception on refugees, this project critically investigates their public communication strategies towards the recent Syrian and Central African crises. We pay particular attention to (1) the production process by means of interviews with refugee organizations, (2) the practices of representing refugees, and (3) the reception of this communication by citizens, refugees and journalists. Apart from its topical nature and relevance for a better understanding of the political, economic and cultural dimensions involved in these organizations' public communication, this project provides a significant empirical contribution to key debates in the field of international communication.
Promoter(s): Stijn Joye
Researcher(s): David Ongenaert
Faculty / Faculties: Faculty of Political and Social Sciences
Period of time: 2017 - 2022