DEACON, D. and Smith, D., 2017. The politics of containment: Immigration coverage in UK general election news coverage (1992 to 2015). Journalism, In Press.
This article examines the extent to which coverage of immigration issues has featured in mainstream national news coverage of six UK General Elections between 1992 and 2015. The six-phase content analysis charts shifts in the scale of coverage over this period that cannot be explained by reference to external factors alone, such as increases in net migration and growing public attentiveness to the issue. We show that since 2005 a disconnect has emerged between media coverage of the issue and external indicators of its scale and importance. The analysis also reveals a shift in the ownership of the immigration issue in formal campaign settings, with the UK Independence Party becoming the most dominant issue associate in electoral coverage of immigration issues.
This paper was accepted for publication in the journal Journalism and the definitive published version is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1464884917715944
This work was supported by the British Academy/ Leverhulme Trust (Grant ref: SG142216), The Electoral Commission and The Guardian Newspaper