Research papers on how the media covers protests


This collection of articles looks at how the media try to discredit protesters in relation to Ireland, London and the US. They were mentioned by Barry Finnegan on Radio Solidarity Show 4.

Radio Solidarity 4 research articles - To help listeners and in the spirit of transparency.

Here are some of the original research papers mentioned by Barry Finnegan, a senior lecturer in Journalism, Media and Communication at Griffith college. We thanks Barry for providing us with these. They are

1 Rosie Meade, lecturer at the School of Applied Social Studies at University College Cork:

Mayday, Mayday! Newspaper framing anti-globalizers!: A critical analysis of the Irish Independent's anticipatory coverage of the `Day of the Welcomes' demonstrations”,

from the academic journal, Journalism (2008, Vol. 9, Number 3).

In this article Meade shows “how, in the run up to the ‘Day of Welcomes’, the Irish Independent’s coverage discredited both the political aspirations and the potential conduct of protestors. The overwhelming thrust of this coverage was to sanction dominant ideologies in relation to neo-liberalism, EU expansionism and the place of dissent in Irish society.”


2 Elisabeth Noelle-Neumann and Rainer Mathes:

The `Event as Event' and the `Event as News': The Significance `Consonance' for Media Effects Research from the  European Journal of Communication (1987, Vol. 2).

This article revisits the seminal study of UK newspapers and TV coverage of a London 1968 anti-Vietnam war protest by Halloran, Elliott and Murdock called ‘Demonstrations and Communications’ in which they show “that the actual ‘event as event’ was completely different in nature from the ‘event as news’”. The article then summaries a whole host of media content analysis to show how “the mass media have a considerable influence on society … over the subjects discussed in a society, the aspects of and the criteria on a topic which are considered important and the climate of opinion which the population perceives as prevailing on a given subject.”


3  Douglas M. McLeod and James K. Hertog:

The Manufacture of `Public Opinion' by Reporters: Informal Cues for Public Perceptions of Protest Groups from Discourse Society (1992, Vol. 3, Issue 3).

This article ties in perfectly with the experience of Holly and Leah on the Joe Duffy show. With the emperical evidence to hand, McLeod and Hertog say: “It has been effectively argued that mass media coverage of social protest groups tends to ‘marginalise’ groups which challenge the prevailing power structure.” The article is an “investigation of mainstream and alternative media coverage of three anarchist marches” in the US. Among their findings: “Coverage gravitates towards individuals exhibiting the most extreme appearance and behaviours.”

Irish Indo's Mayday 2004 Protest Coverage241.74 KB
The `Event as Event' and the `Event as News'2.28 MB
The Manufacture of 'Public Opinion' by Reporters of Protest Groups1.89 MB
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