News Framing of Brexit in Local Newspapers across the UK's Twelve Regions
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The UK is the first country to voluntarily exit the European Union, under the name of Brexit. The Brexit referendum took place in 2016 and has received vast amounts of news coverage on an international, national, regional, and local scale since. Local newspapers have proven to be a reliant source of information for the public and can influence the public’s decision-making process by means of news framing. The present study aimed to discover how this news framing has shifted since the initial referendum in 2016 by taking the field of Intercultural Communication into the realm of language studies. As little research has been conducted on regional or local levels of news framing in the UK and the referendum results indicate that not all regions were in favour of the Brexit result, the present research aimed to fill this knowledge gap. A corpus analysis, critical discourse analysis, and collocate analysis of local newspaper articles from each of the UK’s twelve regions facilitated the detection of a news framing shift. Local British newspapers shifted in news framing in terms of economic consequences, responsibility, conflict, and human interest when reporting on Brexit and are more inclined to discuss Brexit more frequently and frame the phenomenon more directly since 2016. Further research suggests discovering if these outcomes have indeed influenced the British public’s decision-making process when voting for Brexit in 2016 and the General Election in 2019 by means of a survey.