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The Deficit Debate: Content Studies

  • Mike Berry
Chapter

Abstract

This chapter examines how the British national press and public service broadcasting reported on the debate over the rise in the public deficit in 2009. It begins by laying out the background to the rise in the deficit and placing Britain’s debt and deficit in both historical and international contexts. It then presents an analysis of news samples from the national press and the BBC’s flagship television news bulletin, News at Ten. The chapter finds that press reporting was characterised by fear appeals, the presentation of misleading data and false comparisons. BBC reporting provided accurate information about the deficit and its origins but shared with the press a view that the deficit threatened macroeconomic stability. The chapter also found the consistent endorsement of austerity measures, in both press and broadcasting despite their consistent history of policy failure during recessions.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mike Berry
    • 1
  1. 1.Cardiff UniversityCardiffUK

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