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Thomas, Richard
Languages: English
Types: Doctoral thesis
Subjects: H1
Post financial crisis, economic and business news has generated conflicting narratives where, for example, bankers and corporate executives enjoy large salaries while ordinary people find their lifestyles under increasing pressure. Accordingly, the issues of income inequality, wealth and poverty have attracted increased scholarly attention. Citizens make sense of such issues via the media, and most often via TV news which is still the U.K’s primary news provider. Given that U.K broadcast media are bound by public service obligations, the intellectual puzzle addressed here is whether either side of the financial crisis (2007 and 2014), two TV news providers (BBC1 and ITV1) address financial news generally, and income inequality more specifically, in ways that serve all citizens. \ud Large-scale content analyses are used to identify recurrent themes within economic, business and financial news, and stories containing elements of income inequality, poverty, wealth and the “squeezed middle”. To further explore how these issues are covered, typical cases are developed using critical discourse and multimodal analyses. \ud The study finds that while economic and business news has increased and has been partially redefined by the crisis, income inequality is covered less in 2014 than in 2007, and since it is embedded within various news stories, the issue is not covered in ways helping citizens to make sense of causes and consequences. Despite indicators that “trickle down” economics is broken and that wealth remains concentrated among a few, even post-crisis, economic growth is presented as a universal solution to ease discomfort and inequality. Although coverage of business actors and corporations is often critical, the wider model of capitalism within which they operate remains unchallenged. In conclusion, despite the seismic financial events and normative expectations that they should discuss issues of social significance, because of institutional, economic and historic causal mechanisms, these channels do not provide any such critique.
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    • 3.8.2 Economic factors - globalisation and technology.
    • 3.8.3 Institutional factors - declining trade unions, increasing high-end pay, precarious work and changing worker demographics.
    • 3.9 Solving income inequality - predistribution and redistribution.
    • 3.10 Media coverage of income inequality.
    • 3.10.1 OCCUPY and its coverage.
    • Chapter 4. Watching the news: researching EBF and PIE reporting on BBC1 and ITV1.
    • 4.1 Ontological choices: PIE phenomena are real.
    • 4.2 Epistemological positioning: discovering “what” and “how”, then “why”.
    • 4.3 The selection of TV channels, bulletins and years.
    • 4.4 Research design: methodological choices, and complementing quantitative with qualitative methods.
    • 4.5 Quantitative phases: using content analysis.
    • 4.6 Level 1 Content Analysis: examining general news agendas and EBF news in particular.
    • 4.7 Level 2 Content Analysis: Examining PIE issues in detail.
    • 4.8 Qualitative Phase - wider understandings of discourse, and the choice of Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA).
    • 4.8.1 Semiotic carriers of meaning.
    • 4.9 Supplementary interview providing the practitioner viewpoint.
    • 4.10 Ethical considerations.
    • Chapter 5. What's the story? BBC1 and ITV1 news agendas in 2007 and 2014.
    • 5.1 Quantity and format of 10pm bulletins on BBC1 and ITV1 in 2007 and 2014.
    • 5.2 EBF news: less data-driven.
    • 5.3 Content of TV news bulletins: more EBF news, and a change of approach? 5.4 General news categories: dominant categories and major movers.
    • 5.5 EBF news: an increased prominence.
    • 5.6 The shift in balance between hard and soft news.
    • 5.7 Reflections about news agendas.
    • 5.8 EBF news: part of the shift towards harder news? 5.9 Key findings from Chapter 5.
    • Chapter 6. EBF reporting on BBC1 and ITV1 - Probing or Perfunctory? 6.1 The impact of EBF reporting: Northern Rock and the “run of the bank”.
    • 6.2 Reporting the economy.
    • 6.3 Reporting business.
    • 6.4 The business of conflict: energy suppliers versus consumers.
    • 6.5 Banks: the villains of the piece.
    • 6.6 The knockabout nature of EBF news.
    • 6.7 Reporting remuneration: a key EBF issue.
    • 6.8 Advertiser influence: Influence or impotence? 6.9 ITV1's relationship with Barclays: the fearless coverage of a channel sponsor.
    • 6.10 Barclays adverts: getting their retaliation in first? 6.11 The relentless promotion of neoliberalism.
    • 6.12 The partial redefining of EBF news.
    • Chapter 7. PIE in the news: a poor show, or a wealth of coverage? 7.1 Preparedness of news channels to report PIE, and levels of embeddedness.
    • 7.2 PIE coverage: volume, prominence, geography and themes.
    • 7.3 PIE issues: Causes.
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