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The media terrorism and censorship Rodrigo Jusue 2023.pdf (700.48 kB)

The media, terrorism, and censorship in the UK: conflicting imagined audiences in British parliamentary debates in 1988 and 2018

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journal contribution
posted on 2024-01-05, 11:56 authored by Itoiz Rodrigo‑JusuéItoiz Rodrigo‑Jusué

Over the last three decades, there has been a significant growth in media control policies in the UK. Nonetheless, academic literature has so far failed to examine British political elites’ understandings of the relationship between the media and political violence. This article makes an original contribution by conducting a historical comparison of political elites’ discourses on terrorism, the media, and audiences through the analysis of key parliamentary debates in which British MPs discussed the introduction of far-reaching media control measures (i.e. the 1988 Broadcasting Ban and the 2019 Counter-terrorism and Border Security Act). Employing the concept of the “imagined audience”, the analysis, based on a discourse-historical approach (DHA), demonstrates significant differences in how MPs constructed media audiences in these discussions. In 1988, British MPs consistently invoked rational, well-informed, and responsible audiences, whilst thirty years later, constructions of unknowledgeable and easily influenced audiences were discursively deployed by MPs in support of highly restrictive media control measures. The article suggests that this transformation is based on a resurgence of the media “contagion theory” and Islamophobic notions that construct certain sections of the population as vulnerable, irrational, and highly susceptible, in contrast to the intelligent and sensible audiences envisioned by MPs in 1988.

Funding

Constructing the illiberal citizen? Radicalisation prevention, counter-terrorism, and the media in the UK

Economic and Social Research Council

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History

School

  • Social Sciences and Humanities

Department

  • Communication and Media

Published in

British Politics

Publisher

Springer Nature

Version

  • VoR (Version of Record)

Rights holder

© The Author(s)

Publisher statement

This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

Acceptance date

2023-11-14

Publication date

2023-12-23

Copyright date

2023

ISSN

1746-918X

eISSN

1746-9198

Language

  • en

Depositor

Dr Itoitz Rodrigo Jusue. Deposit date: 4 January 2024

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