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Living within our means: The UK news construction of the austerity frame over time

Basu, Laura 2019. Living within our means: The UK news construction of the austerity frame over time. Journalism 20 (2) , pp. 313-330. 10.1177/1464884917708870

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In 2008, the financial crisis exploded onto the global scene, causing a world-wide recession and damage to public finances. Governments quickly switched from fiscal stimulus to retrenchment. Despite economic stagnation, falling living standards and rising not falling government debt, rulers have stuck to their austerity guns since then. Arguably, the mainstream media have played a central role in communicating austerity to publics. This article analyses the framing of austerity by the UK media over time, from the financial meltdown of 2008 until late 2015. It charts the emergence of a fledgeling austerity narrative from before the term was in common use, the establishment of a dominant austerity frame in 2009, the building of the frame before and after the 2010 elections and the fluctuations within the frame after 2010. It finds that, although there are considerable differences among the five outlets studied and changes over time, the central message overall has been that some degree of austerity is painful but necessary, and the general population is constructed as obliged to pay for the crisis.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Journalism, Media and Culture
Publisher: SAGE Publications
ISSN: 1464-8849
Last Modified: 25 Jul 2019 13:17

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