In the media

More than 150 newspapers worldwide cover Julian Wucherpfennig’s new study showing search-and-rescue operations don’t drive migrant crossings

The Scientific Reports journal article by Julian Wucherpfennig, Professor of International Affairs and Security, and his co-authors has been cited by the media in at least thirty countries.

New research published last week by Professor Julian Wucherpfennig and his co-authors used predictive modelling to show that search-and-rescue operations in the central Mediterranean do not seem to lead to more migrant crossings, challenging the ‘pull effect’ claim and launching a wave of discussion around the globe. A week after publication, the research media tracker Altmetric has already ranked the study among the top 0.1% of all research output scored by the platform in terms of media attention.

Across Europe, the study contributes to the public discussion on Mediterranean sea crossings

The focus of the research on irregular migration across the central Mediterranean, a prickly topic in EU and European national politics, sparked a special interest from the European news media. In Germany, Wucherpfennig’s research was covered by Der Spiegel, Die Welt, Die Süddeutsche Zeitung, ZDF, Stern, Deutschlandfunk, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, and more than 30 other media outlets. In Austria, the story was picked up for example by Der Standard, ORF, and Kronen Zeitung, while in Switzerland the findings were widely covered by Der Bund, Blick, Berner Zeitung, and Le Temps, among others. Reporting from along the Mediterranean migration route, Italian newspapers took particular interest in the research, with eighteen papers covering it, including La Repubblica, WIRED Italia, Avvenire, Il Fatto Quotidiano, and Il Manifesto. The research was further covered in France (e.g. France24), Belgium (e.g. De Standaard), the United Kingdom (e.g. The Times), Spain (e.g. El Diario), Portugal (e.g. Esquerda), Malta (e.g. Times of Malta), the Netherlands (e.g. NRC), Sweden (e.g. Syre) and Luxembourg (e.g. RTL Today), as well as by pan-European news sites such as EURACTIV and InfoMigrants

The study’s implications for the place of search-and-rescue operations reach a global audience

While grounded in the debate on Mediterranean sea crossings, Wucherpfennig’s research also makes a broader contribution in shedding light on which factors affect irregular migration flows and the effects of humanitarian responses by state and private actors. Outside of Europe, newspapers in every other inhabited continent took note of the findings by Wucherpfennig and his co-authors, with coverage from Mirage News in Australia to the Manila Times in the Philippines and the Japan Times in Japan to Arab News in Saudi Arabia to Yeni Özgür Politika in Turkey all the way to ICI Radio Canada in Canada and ISTOÉ in Brazil, among other countries and papers.

Read the much-discussed research article here.

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