People

Ben
Doherty
Immigration Correspondent, The Guardian, Australia
Country of Origin: 
Australia
Sponsor: 
Thomson Reuters Foundation
Date of Fellowship: 
Trinity term 2015
Research Paper Title: 
The semantics of seeking asylum: an examination of the impact of changing media and political discourses on public opinion of refugees and asylum seekers

Ben Doherty is immigration correspondent for The Guardian Australia, based in the Sydney newsroom. He was formerly the Bangkok-based Southeast Asia Correspondent for The Guardian, and South Asia Correspondent for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, based in New Delhi. He has reported from more than 20 countries, including Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Zimbabwe, and throughout the Asia-Pacific.

Ben has twice been awarded a Walkley Award, Australia's highest journalism honour, most recently in 2013 for a six-month investigation into sweatshop labour conditions and worker deaths in the Bangladeshi garment industry. He has written extensively on, and has a particular interest in, the issues of child and forced labour in developing economies, and the movement of refugees and forced migrants.

Ben was the Walkley Young Australian Print Journalist of the Year in 2008 and has been a finalist in the United Nations Media Peace awards, and Amnesty International Media Awards.

Ben holds a Master of International Law and International Relations from the University of New South Wales.

Research Paper Title: 
The semantics of seeking asylum: an examination of the impact of changing media and political discourses on public opinion of refugees and asylum seekers

The language used to discuss the issue of asylum seekers, particularly those who arrive by boat, has changed in Australia, and changed most noticeably over the last decade. Asylum seekers, once referred to as ‘boat people’ or ‘irregular migrants’, are now ‘illegals’, the country no longer has an ‘immigration department’ but a ‘border protection force’, and migration is discussed as a ‘national security issue’.            

This paper seeks to examine the semantics of asylum, how changes in the language used by politicians and the media has altered Australian and global political discourse around refugees and asylum seekers, and the ways in which this has influenced public opinion and understanding.

Internet Picks: 

Besides my first, and premier, source for news:

The Guardian

www.theguardian.com / www.theguardian.co.uk

I turn to:

The Andrew and Renata Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law

http://www.kaldorcentre.unsw.edu.au/

The asylum and immigration debate is deeply polarised in Australia. The Kaldor centre has impartial, critical discussion of the issue, particularly its legal bases, stripped of the political opprobrium and partisan bickering.

Migration Oxford:

http://www.migration.ox.ac.uk/

This site carries an extraordinary calibre of thought across broad range of topics concerned with migration. The podcasts from the regular Public Seminar Series (part of the Refugee Studies Centre) are especially brilliant.

ESPNCricinfo:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/

Because I love cricket and this site has any game being played anywhere, as well as more esoteric statistics than one could possibly consume in a lifetime.