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International Journal of Communication

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Based on content analysis of newspapers and in-depth interviews of journalists, this article analyzes the role of the media in defining the European Union and, therefore, in contributing to the production and reproduction of social representations of the EU in the public. The research concentrated on three EU member countries: France, Spain, and the United Kingdom. The study is theoretically informed by news production theory. Results demonstrate that there are major differences among the newspapers analyzed here in terms of how they represented the EU in the news, according to their nationality and political orientation. Furthermore, many of the principles that dominate the production of news undermine information on the EU. The material on the EU tends to reinforce traditional views on economics, politics, and society, including the widespread belief that a national government is better than the EU for solving society's problems.


Originally published under a CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 license in the International Journal of Communication, 2010, Volume 4.