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Journalistic transgressions in the representation of Jeremy Corbyn: from watchdog to attack dog

Cammaerts, Bart, DeCillia, Brooks and Magalhães, João Carlos (2020) Journalistic transgressions in the representation of Jeremy Corbyn: from watchdog to attack dog. Journalism, 21 (2). 191 - 208. ISSN 1464-8849

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Identification Number: 10.1177/1464884917734055


This research critically assesses the press coverage of Jeremy Corbyn during his leadership bid and subsequent first months as the leader of the United Kingdom’s Labour Party. A content analysis (n = 812) found that the British press offered a distorted and overly antagonistic view of the long-serving MP. Corbyn is often denied a voice and news organisations tended to prize anti-Corbyn sources over favourable ones. Much of the coverage is decidedly scornful and ridicules the leader of the opposition. This analysis also tests a set of normative conceptions of the media in a democracy. In view of this, our research contends that the British press acted more as an attackdog than a watchdog when it comes to the reporting of Corbyn. We conclude that the transgression from traditional monitorial practices to snarling attacks is unhealthy for democracy, and it furthermore raises serious ethical questions for UK journalism and its role in society.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2017 The Authors
Divisions: Media and Communications
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe) > JN101 Great Britain
Sets: Departments > Media and Communications
Date Deposited: 27 Sep 2017 16:41
Last Modified: 20 Jul 2021 01:14

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