Media coverage of 2014 Scottish independence referendum from mediatization theory perspective




mediatization, media logic, media coverage, Scottish independence referendum, print media, content analysis, frames


The process of mediatization is based on the transformation of the interaction between political institutions and the media which leads to strengthening of the role of media in political sphere. These changes are caused by increased media diversity and growing competition for the audience which is especially true for Scottish print media. One of the major features of mediatization is a shift in media discourse towards more enter taining reporting consisting in simplification and superficialism in political media coverage. The purpose of this paper is to examine the mediatization of politics concerning the Scottish media coverage of the independence referendum. The content analysis of the local newspapers revealed emotionalism with a special emphasis on the conflict between supporters and opponents of Scottish independence. However, despite substantial changes that an independent Scotland might have had, the media were lacking analytical approach to the coverage of vital political, economic and social issues. Thus, the media coverage format consistent with the process of mediatization restricted the perception of the discussed problems in the print media. This, in turn, could increase uncertainty about the future of Scotland among the public and the desire to maintain the status quo.