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WJEC AS Media Studies MS1 Representation of Events: European Referendum & The Queen

Rob Miller | Friday September 02, 2016

Categories: A Level, Eduqas (WJEC) A Level, WJEC AS, WJEC AS Media Studies, Key Concepts, Representation & Stereotyping

EU Referendum

Representation of events refers to the way a range of media across platforms covers something that is deemed to be newsworthy or of interest to the public. This event can happen during one day e.g. celebrations when Queen Elizabeth II became the UK’s longest reigning monarch or panning out more over a period of time e.g. media reporting of the Ebola Outbreak or the Oscar Pistorius Trial. An event can become an issue, for example, the media coverage of the ongoing Migrant Crisis or the Charlie Hebdo and Paris Attacks link with media representations of IS and the ‘war on terror’. As a rule, issues tend to differentiate from events in that they are not simply ongoing, but often reoccurring over time e.g. moral panics about body shape, diet and drinking culture but also the environment.

This resource will focus on two events as covered by UK media: the June 23rd 2016 European Referendum with subsequent ‘Brexit’ and the Queen becoming the longest serving UK monarch.

The European Referendum was seen to be one of the most politically and socially divisive events in British history for over 100 years. As such, the media gave this event saturation coverage. Key events leading up to the vote, and subsequently after the so called ‘Brexit’ decision were represented with significant prominence to the point that, arguably, the event was subject to a moral panic. Television news coverage devoted leader story coverage to each new development as an ongoing, albeit temporary narrative. Even broadsheets like The Times ran with sensationalist front pages that borrowed more from tabloid codes and conventions: for example the 25/6/16 edition headline ‘Brexit earthquake’ had an unusually high ratio of photography to text.

Social media was again saturated with news and comment but crucially, compared with OFCOM reporting restrictions imposed on television news, website and radio coverage, was full of opinion and vitriol...


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