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The Battle for Free Trade

The Reporting of Economic Globalisation in 1999
  • Gary James MerrillEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

The World Trade Organisation Ministerial Conference in Seattle in 1999 was a crucial moment in the development of economic globalisation. Delegates from national governments agreed that the trajectory of global trade was towards liberalisation. Outside of the Conference, however, an informal coalition of trade unions, environmental groups and NGOs highlighted the negative social consequences of this form of globalisation. With its statutory commitment to impartiality, one might expect the BBC to give credence to both positions. But the analysis of articles published around the time of the Conference reveals that the BBC’s coverage bore greater resemblance to the overtly pro-liberalisation Times and Sunday Times than the more traditionally left-leaning Guardian and Observer. Although the latter pair generally supported the progressive reformers, radical interpretations were excluded, and in very few instances were arguments for a more humanised version of economic globalisation pitched on equal terms against the dominant discourse

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of RoehamptonLondonUK

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