Reporting Europe: A Critical Discourse Analysis of British EU News Coverage

Anna Wambach

The British press has often been accused of representing the EU unfairly and predominantly negatively and thereby fuelling growing Euroscepticism in an already Eurosceptic country (e.g. Anderson and Weymouth 1999; Daddow 2012; Hawkins 2012). This paper considers articles from five UK national newspapers (tabloids and broadsheets), and news broadcasts from the BBC and Channel Four, collected in the run-up to both the European and General Elections to analyse media representations using a critical discourse analytical approach. In this approach language as part of a larger discourse is seen as a consequence of and an influence on societal developments. Language and rhetoric used to represent the EU, its policies and institutions is therefore a crucial part of the analysis as it points towards underlying ideologies in the newsroom but also in the wider society. Furthermore production processes, which influence the news organisations' output, are taken into account. Characteristics of particular media outlets as well as pressures of the market are used to explain the emergence of dominant discourses. In this paper, patterns of news framing will be analysed to give an overview of the tone of EU representations in British news coverage. Furthermore in a detailed linguistic analysis, using the example of the European Court of Justice's Google ruling, usually referred to as 'right to be forgotten', the role of language in constructing these frames will be explored and linked to practices in the newsroom as well as the wider societal debate.

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