Tax, war and waiting lists: the construction of national identity in newspaper coverage of general elections after devolution

Dekavalla, Marina (2010) Tax, war and waiting lists: the construction of national identity in newspaper coverage of general elections after devolution. Discourse & Society, 21 (6). pp. 638-654. ISSN 0957-9265

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Abstract

This article explores the construction of national identity in the coverage of policy issues during the first two general elections after devolution, in Scottish and in English/UK daily morning newspapers. It focuses on a sample of the coverage of the most mentioned reserved and devolved issue in the 2001 and 2005 campaigns and examines the use of markers of location and deictic references to a national context. It finds that the distinction between reserved and devolved matters is not decisive in how these topics are constructed. The Scottish and English/UK coverage of the Iraq war, taxation and health debates at Westminster is relatively similar, written and presumed to be read in Britain. However, Scottish titles differentiate their output by constructing their readers as having little participation in these ‘UK’ issues, and by emphasizing the Scottish relevance of topics such as fiscal autonomy for Scotland and waiting lists at Scottish hospitals. Even in that coverage though, the relevant national context occasionally shifts between Scotland and Britain. By contrast, newspapers written in England consistently report from an Anglo-British perspective, making no allowance for the changes brought by devolution.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Media, Film and Music > Media and Film
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics > P0087 Communication. Mass media
Depositing User: Dr Marina Dekavalla
Date Deposited: 30 May 2017 07:25
Last Modified: 30 May 2017 07:25
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/68178
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