The 2016 EU Referendum
Here we consider a second case study, that of the 2016 referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU. Referenda are a rare creature within British politics, though their use seems to be on the rise at a national and regional level. Ostensibly they represent increased engagement as some form of direct democratic participation. However, a review of how the remain and leave campaigns articulated their political communication in mainstream press and broadcast media, suggests that the construction of democratic participation was very similar to that found during the 2015 General Election. We therefore suggest that spectacle has become a central, if not the central, characteristic of the articulation of democratic participation in the press and broadcast media.
KeywordsPrint Media EU Referendum Direct Democracy
- BBC (2016) ‘Facebook fake news: Zuckerberg details plans to combat problem’ BBC 19th November 2016, [Online article], available from http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-38039506 [Accessed 5 January 2017]
- BBC News (2004) ‘Blair confirms EU constitution poll. BBC’, [Online article], available from http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/3640949.stm [Accessed 1 January 2017].
- Bulman, M. (2016) ‘Brexit: Vote Leave camp abandon £350m-a-week NHS vow in Change Britain plans’, The Independent, [Online article], available from http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/brexit-nhs-350m-a-week-eu-change-britain-gisela-stuart-referendum-bus-a7236706.html [Accessed 28 December 2016].
- Cormon, P. (2015) Swiss Politics for Beginners. (2nd Ed.) Geneva: Slatkine:.Google Scholar
- Deacon, D., Harmer, E., Downey, J., Stanyer, J., & Wring, D. (2016) ‘UK News Coverage of the EU Referendum. Reports 1-6. Loughborough University Centre for Research in Communication and Culture’, [Blog posts], available from http://blog.lboro.ac.uk/crcc/eu-referendum/ [Accessed 29 November 2016].
- Eaton, G. (2016). ‘“Project Fear” is back - and it’s still Remain’s best hope’, New Statesman, [Online article], available from http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/uk/2016/06/project-fear-back-and-its-still-remains-best-hope [Accessed 10 December 2016].
- Farage, N. & Reding, V.(2016) ‘Nigel Farage Brexit Victory Speech – Independence Day. 23rd June 2016’, [Online video], available from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ma3SAUqnUMA [Accessed 12 January 2017]
- Foster, P. (2016) ‘What would Brexit mean for British sovereignty?’, The Telegraph, [Online article], available from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/05/19/how-does-the-eu-impinge-on-british-sovereignty-and-if-the-uk-vot/ [Accessed 16 December 2016].
- Hannan, D. (2015) ‘Britain’s Referendum Comes Down to Restoring Sovereignty’, Capx. [Online article], available from https://capx.co/britains-referendum-comes-down-to-restoring-sovereignty/ [Accessed: 2 January 2017].
- Hannan, D. (2016) ‘Brexit means that Britain will be boss again’, The Spectator, [Online article], available from http://www.spectator.co.uk/2016/08/brexit-means-that-britain-will-be-boss-again/ [Accessed 18 December 2016].
- Lamont, N. (2016) ‘David Cameron’s former boss Lord Lamont blasts EU Remain campaign as “comical”’, The Express, [Online article], available from http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/649055/Remain-Camp-EU-European-Union-Brussels-Lord-Lamont-David-Cameron-George-Osborne-Fear [Accessed 2 December 2016].
- Loughborough University (2016) ‘82% circulation advantage in favour of Brexit as The Sun declares. World-leading media analysis from Loughborough University’ [Online Blog] Available from https://blog.lboro.ac.uk/crcc/eu-referendum/sun-no-longer-hedging-bets-brexit/ [Accessed 1 December 2016].
- Madison, J. (1787 ) The Federalist Papers. Salt Lake City: Project Gutenberg.Google Scholar
- Miller, V. (2015) ‘EU Obligations: UK Implementing Legislation since 1993. Briefing Paper 07092ʹ, House of Commons Library, [Online resource], available from <http://researchbriefings.parliament.uk/ResearchBriefing/Summary/SN07092> [Accessed 2 January 2017].
- Morgan, P. (2005) The Inside: The Private Diaries of a Scandalous Decade. London: Ebury Press.Google Scholar
- Neslen, A. (2016) Leaving EU could end ‘unfair’ French fishing quotas, says minister. The Guardian. Online Article, available from https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/jun/01/leaving-eu-could-end-unfair-french-fishing-quotas-says-minister [Accessed 19 December 2016].
- Nguyen, D. (2015) How Direct Democracy has grown over the Decades. Geneva: Swissinfo.Google Scholar
- Opinion, T. (2016) ‘We must vote Leave to create a Britain fit for the future’, The Sunday Telegraph, [Online article], available from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/2016/06/18/we-must-vote-leave-to-create-a-britain-fit-for-the-future/ [Accessed 20 December 2016].
- Stone, J. (2016) ‘Nigel Farage backtracks on Leave Campaign’s ‘£350m for the NHS’ pledge hours after result’, The Independent, [Online article], available from http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/eu-referendum-result-nigel-farage-nhs-pledge-disowns-350-million-pounds-a7099906.html [Accessed 20 December 2016].
- Travis, A. (2016) ‘Fear of immigration drove the Leave Victory, not immigration itself’, The Guardian, [Online article], available from https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/jun/24/voting-details-show-immigration-fears-were-paradoxical-but-decisive [Accessed 15 December 2016].
- Tuohy, W. (1994) ‘BRITAIN: Sex Scandals Contradict Tory Moralizing: Prime Minister John Major can’t seem to plug all the leaks in his ‘back to basics’ policy.’ The Times, [Online article], available from http://articles.latimes.com/1994-01-15/news/mn-12048_1_john-major [Accessed 21 December 2016].
- Voice of the Mirror (2016) ‘Why the Mirror is backing Remain for the sake of our great nation’, The Daily Mirror, [Online article], available from http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/mirror-backing-remain-sake-great-8251613 [Accessed 23 December 2016].
- Ipsos MORI (2016) ‘Immigration is not the top issue for voters in the EU referendum’ [Online article] available from https://www.ipsos-mori.com/researchpublications/researcharchive/3746/immigration-is-now-the-top-issue-for-voters-in-the-EU-referendum.aspx [Accessed 15 December 2016].
- Stewart, H., & Mason, R. (2016) ‘Nigel Farage’s anti-migrant poster reported to police’, The Guardian, [Online article], available from https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/jun/16/nigel-farage-defends-ukip-breaking-point-poster-queue-of-migrants [Accessed 14 December 2016].
- Turner, C. (2016) ‘Inside the UK Government’s Controversial Content Campaign to Stay in the EU’, Contently, [Online article], available from https://contently.com/strategist/2016/05/20/inside-uk-governments-controversial-content-campaign-stay-eu/ [Accessed 18 December 2016].