Literature Review and Background Research
Due to the United Kingdom voting to leave the European Union on 31 January 2020, I wanted to investigate how the US media reports on UK economic issues. The Brexit referendum was to decide whether Britain should remain in the European Union (EU) (Calamur, 2016). 51.9% per cent of voters opted to leave, resulting in the process of leaving the EU (Worthington, Britton, Thompson, 2018).
The final academic project produced pursued to answer the Research Question: How did the US media cover Brexit? As for the research question, I needed to consider the literature and background. After reviewing the relevant academic sources, various journalism and grey areas of research, I concluded my question for the framing to be as narrow as possible. Hence, the reader knows what to expect.
When interpreting an audit of the literature review of US newspaper coverage of the UK economy on Brexit, it is critical to consider which particular newspapers this dissertation will be addressing. The thesis needs to give lucidity, consistency and explicitness from the beginning. I am going to investigate whether there is literature about how the US media covered Brexit Day.
The purpose of this literature review and background research is to critically analyse how the top three most-read economics US newspapers reported on the UK economy on Brexit. These three are USA Today, The Wall Street Journal and New York Times. Exploring how influential these newspapers are, whether they have covered the same or similar topics and how significant the writers are.
This chapter analysed the pattern of new stories on the overall theme of the UK economy narrative in portrayal to the outcome of the US newspaper Brexit coverage and the US-UK relationship.
Academic Research on Brexit
The exiting of the EU reveals the economic, political, legal and institutional complexity of untangling the UK from over forty years of EU membership (Armstrong, 2017). If Brexit unfolds, the complications will only increase as events work towards the finality of departure (Chríost and Bonotti, 2018).
The UK’s ‘soft power’- its attractiveness to people in other countries – has long suffered from the perception that its first loyalty is to the US (Solana, 2007). Solana says that for progressive foreign policy between the EU and US, the UK and France should collaborate with their EU partners to build an EU that is friendly towards the US. One who offers its practical help in dealing with global problems, encouraging effective multilateral; nonetheless, this prognosis did not occur (Solana, 2007).
Background research on US media and newspaper coverage of the US and UK economy
The focus on a future potential UK-US trade deal by US newspapers can illustrate the financial opportunities of the UK. The UK and the US for centuries have had what is known as a special relationship (Dobson and Marsh, 2017). Since both countries share a common language and culture and that both countries were allies during the World Wars. The UK and US have worked together on security issues, for example, through the Five Eyes alliance (Goldman and Rascoff, 2016). The UK owned a substantial debt to the US following the Anglo-American loan post WW2. You can find literature on this and the arguments that this relationship in effect ended when the loan was paid off in 2006 as power dynamics shifted.
The US media focuses extensively on UK media. However, as a country outside the EU, it provides a perspective that is not preconceived as an anti-Brexit. US media presumably focuses more on US UK trade talks or more on what it means for them. Newspapers are businesses. News is a product that must be attractive to the market of consumers (Richardson, 2007). Since stories that achieve audience appeal from the critical gauge of what to put in the newspaper (Franklin, 1997).
Galtung and Ruge (1973) and more recently by Harcup and O’Neil (2001) have analysed news values. One news value is proximity in terms of location, US media presumably. The US media focuses more on a US-UK trade deal because the readership is Americans. The meaningfulness of a story must have evident cultural proximity to its readers and their lifestyle. According to David Bordwell (1989), symptomatic reading is the most sophisticated form of ordinary criticism. Therefore, the ‘text’ under analysis is full of contradictory tensions, requires active readers and produces a variety of pleasures (Willeman, 1986).
For all news media, the most important characteristics are the location nationally (Conboy, 2007). News values will match a notional list of elite character who differ to an extent between elite and popular media.
The US media wants to inform its readership of what Brexit means ‘for them’, as the format of news can reflect journalistic cultures (Picard, 2015). Them being their American audience not what it means for the UK or EU.
A pragmatic justification for the careful perusal of the American experience is that the United States has long been grappling with issues which are now forced on to the British political agenda. Thus, one might think to offer valuable guidance to British lawmakers (Loveland, 1995).
Literature Review and Background Research