Department of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education


Date of this Version



Published in Migration and Media. Discourses about identities in crisis. Edited by Lorella Viola and Andreas Musolff.



Copyright © 2019 John Benjamins Publishing Company. Used by permission.


This chapter examines the representation of unaccompanied minors fleeing Central America (namely Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador) in U.S. online national news sources over a one-year period and compares this to the way these children talk about their own perceptions of migration and their motivation for moving. Data collection consisted of online news reports on unaccompanied minors from Central America in the United States as well as interviews with children collected from the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and other humanitarian organizations. Multimodal critical discourse analysis reveals a qualitative difference in discourse (e.g., use of metaphor, metonymy, deixis and visual elements) that varies depending on whether the sources are media reports or personal accounts from the children themselves.