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Protesting their apathy? An analysis of British press coverage of young anti Iraq war protestors

Cushion, Stephen ORCID: 2007. Protesting their apathy? An analysis of British press coverage of young anti Iraq war protestors. Journal of Youth Studies 10 (4) , pp. 419-437.

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Drawing on a systematic content analysis of UK newspaper coverage of young anti-Iraq war protestors, I examine how young people's opinions were mediated before and during the war in Iraq. I explore the extent and nature of coverage, and ask whether newspapers encouraged young people to be active citizens in the public sphere. I argue that the UK press sought to legitimize young people's opinion before the war had started by stressing the consensual composition of the demonstrations. However, the dominant media frame shifted once the war had commenced, with young protestors portrayed as opportunistic truants rather than (as pre-war) active, engaged citizens. I conclude by discussing recent literature which interprets media coverage of protests positively by replacing the concept of the public sphere with the 'public screen'. While visually stimulating, I argue it is a rather hollow concept because it loses sight of the referent needed to make sense of the reasons why the UK decided to go to war.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Journalism, Media and Culture
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
J Political Science > JZ International relations
N Fine Arts > NE Print media
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1990 Broadcasting
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 1367-6261
Last Modified: 24 Oct 2022 10:30

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