Re-framing free movement in the countdown to Brexit? Shifting UK press portrayals of EU migrants in the wake of the referendum.
This article argues that long-standing press portrayals of economic migrants as threats to Britain’s economic wellbeing underwent a marked turn immediately after the 2016 ‘Brexit’ referendum. Following an intense campaign during which most national newspapers problematised European Union free movement, the month after the vote saw even ‘Euro-sceptic’ titles shift towards emphasising the economic costs of ending it. Within six months, however, discourses framing migrants as ‘invaders’ and/or ‘exploiters’ resurfaced. The article conceptualises the immediate post-referendum period as one of discursive aftershock, as key actors struggled to absorb the outcome and newspapers accustomed to years of spoon-feeding with simplistic pro- and anti-European Union rhetoric scrambled to find fresh sources of newsworthy conflict in a ‘post-war’ climate. In so doing, it contributes to our understanding of the multidirectional complexity of the agenda-setting process, by showing how shifts in the nature of public debate can help re-frame the narrative preoccupations of the media.
|Journal Article Type||Article|
|Publication Date||Aug 1, 2019|
|Journal||The British Journal of Politics and International Relations|
|Peer Reviewed||Peer Reviewed|
|Institution Citation||MORRISON, J. 2019. Re-framing free movement in the countdown to Brexit? Shifting UK press portrayals of EU migrants in the wake of the referendum. British journal of politics and international relations [online], 21(3), pages 594-611. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1177/1369148119851385|
|Keywords||Brexit; Discourse; Framing; Free movement; Migrants; Newspapers|
MORRISON 2019 Re-framing free
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