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Europe in the News: Analysing Media Representations of the European Union

Anna Wambach

'Awkward partner' is a term often employed to explain the UK's relationship with the European Union. The last European Parliamentary Election's results could be taken as confirmation that resistance towards European integration among UK citizens has reached a new peak.This trend gives excellent scope to empirically analyse current news coverage of the EU in British media. Citizens' attitudes concerning the EU can be significantly influenced by media representations (Vliegenhardt et al. 2008), as they are one of the primary sources of information about the EU's nations, bodies and policies (European Commission 2003:60; Gavin 2000).In contrast to the majority of previous studies regarding media representations of the EU, I am using a CDA (critical discourse analysis) framework in order to answer research questions. These are more concerned with discursive construction of news and the (re)production of myths and ideologies through news discourse, than with frequency counts or quantitative analysis of the EU's evaluation in the media.I will give an overview of my approach to analysis and illustrate its application with an example from recent media discourse. Not only framing of news stories will be taken into account, but also linguistic and rhetorical properties of the texts.

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