Journalistic and reception mechanisms of remote threat domestication: EU asylum seekers in Israeli media

Sabina Lissitsa, Matan Aharoni, Nonna Kushnirovich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The current study reveals the mechanisms used by both media and news consumers for domesticating distant threatening events. To this end, the study applies thematic analysis to textual and visual content presented in media items (Study 1) and media content reception from the perspective of news consumers (Study 2). Study 1 sample included 209 Israeli media items in Hebrew, covering asylum seekers in Europe from 2014 to 2019. Study 2 is based on semi-structured interviews with 30 Jewish Israeli heavy news consumers. The study was inspired by framing, priming, and media reception theories. The findings revealed the following threat domestication processes: (1) double selection of threatening narratives by media gatekeepers and the audience; (2) simplification of the media narratives to basic “good vs. bad” stories for easy comprehension and extension by news consumers; (3) creation and reception of both immediate threat (violence and crime) and deferred threat (deterministic processes); and (4) generation of a wide range of emotions and emotional processing through double victimhood. The audience actively adds to the domestication of the content through extended hegemonic and negotiated readings, thus finally shaping the framing so that it comes closer to the local contexts and communicates with the consumers’ lives and perceptions.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMedia, Culture and Society
StateAccepted/In press - 2024


  • asylum seekers in European Union
  • audience reception
  • distant threat
  • foreign news
  • media strategies
  • news domestication
  • threat domestication mechanisms


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