It has been documented in the literature that media usually portrays refugees negatively, which affects how the public reacts to them. Consequently, organizations catering to refugees, referred to in this thesis as Refugee Concerned Organizations (RCOs), try to influence the media aiming to influence the public. So, they produce prepacked information and employ different communication tools. Using the agenda building theory, this research investigated the influence of communication tools used by RCOs on Egyptian media focusing on Facebook and news websites. Qualitative content analysis was conducted for 615 Facebook posts and 111 News reports and supplemented by semi-structured interviews with Communication Professionals from four RCOs. The findings suggest that the RCOs general representation of refugees in Egypt is positive and that they cover refugees’ stories frequently. However, they tend to focus more on showcasing their work and assistance to refugees. Regarding the media, the findings indicate that reporting on refugee issues is more extensive during emergencies and that the focus is usually on refugees’ numbers and the Egyptian government’s efforts. The main two sources of information for the media are the Egyptian government and the UNHCR. Moreover, the findings showed that the issues covered by the media were not always the same issues highlighted by RCOs. However, the substantive and affective attributes used by both showed more similarities. As such, it can be argued that the communication tools of RCOs had a minimal influence on the first level of agenda building but an influence on the second level was observed.


School of Global Affairs and Public Policy


Center for Migration and Refugee Studies

Degree Name

MA in Migration & Refugee Studies

Graduation Date

Spring 6-15-2024

Submission Date


First Advisor

Ibrahim Awad

Second Advisor

Maysa Ayoub

Committee Member 1

Sara Sadek

Committee Member 2

Nadine El Sayed


205 p.

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval

Approval has been obtained for this item