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The European Journal of Communication Research

Ed. by Averbeck-Lietz, Stefanie / d'Haenens, Leen

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Volume 44, Issue 1


Media frames and public perceptions of global poverty in the UK: Is there a link?

Mirjam Vossen
  • Corresponding author
  • Centre for International Development Issues Radboud University Nijmegen The Netherlands; Institute for Media Studies University of Leuven Leuven Belgium
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/ Lau Schulpen
Published Online: 2019-03-16 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/commun-2018-2006


This study investigates the relationship between media frames and public perceptions of global poverty. Building on a frame analysis, the paper reconstructs prevailing poverty narratives in British news articles and non-governmental organizations’ (NGO’s) advertisements between 2011 and 2013. Following this, these narratives are compared with the narratives that emerge from public opinion studies. The findings suggest that there is a strong connection between media frames and public knowledge and perceptions of global poverty. Both the media and the public define poverty in developing countries’ terms of destitute victims, lack of development and bad governance. Both suggest that the causes of poverty are internal to developing countries and imply that there has been little progress in reducing global poverty.

Keywords: news framing; framing effects; poverty; public opinion


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About the article

Published Online: 2019-03-16

Published in Print: 2019-03-14

Citation Information: Communications, Volume 44, Issue 1, Pages 59–79, ISSN (Online) 1613-4087, ISSN (Print) 0341-2059, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/commun-2018-2006.

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