transfer 23(3) » Medieninhalte

Visca Catalunya! Free Scotland!

A Quantitative Study on the Influence of State Repression and Social Identity on Deliberation in the Press

This study investigates the mediated deliberation in the Scottish, as well as the Catalan press during their respective referenda. How influential is the existence of state repression in a country when it comes to public debate on an important issue? How important is the population’s social identity? Articles covering the referenda from two comparative-ly unbiased newspapers (La Vanguardia and the Daily Record) were used as research material (N=200), coding 356 statements that were relevant to this issue. This study focuses on the accessibility and characterization of participants, the use of arguments and the reciprocity and responsiveness of the speaker, in order to measure and compare deliberativeness in the two selected newspapers, one from Catalonia, one from Scotland. The study concludes that both, state repression as well as social identity, influenced the deliberation in the press during these secessionist movements in the days and weeks leading up to the referenda, at least as far as certain aspects are concerned; besides, there also seems to be a dependency between the origins of the movements and the deliberation. Overall, as further elaborated in the following chapters, this study deems the deliberative democratic performance in Scotland to be higher than the one in Catalonia.