Long-term Media Socialisation and Support for Austerity

  • Mike Berry


This chapter further unpacks the source of beliefs about the deficit and public spending that were identified in Chap.  5. In particular, it examines how two beliefs common in my focus groups reflected recurrent themes in press reporting in the period following Labour’s re-election in 2001. These were the belief that much of Labour’s post-2001 spending increases had been wasted and that public sector pensions, immigration and welfare had become increasingly unfair and unsustainable burdens on the taxpayer. To locate the development of these narratives Nexis searches going back to 2000 were conducted in four right-wing national newspapers. These revealed that the frequency of these themes rose substantially after 2001 and then increased again when the financial crisis hit in 2008. The chapter concludes by considering the contribution of the media in relation to other factors which may have influenced public knowledge and attitudes in this area.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mike Berry
    • 1
  1. 1.Cardiff UniversityCardiffUK

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