Dangerfield, Martin (St. Cyril and St. Methodius University of Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria, 2018-12-21)
Brexit has commanded an enormous amount of attention in the UK media, both before and since the
In-Out referendum on June 23 2016. Though various studies have already considered the overall role
of newspapers in affecting attitudes towards the EU in the UK, this paper will focus on an area in
which there has so far been no research: the role of ‘Letters to the Editor’ in newspaper contributions
to the Brexit debate and their parts in equipping voters to make an informed choice. It looks at six
UK national newspapers, all with varied stances on the EU and with different tones and styles of
getting messages across to readers. All letters published in each paper during the month leading up to
the referendum will be scrutinised with a view to throwing some light on the following initial
questions. To what extent did readers’ letters tend to support and reinforce each newspaper’s stance
on ‘Leave’ or ‘Remain’? To what extent did readers’ letters contribute to a real debate in each
newspaper, i.e. disputing the content of articles or editorials published by the newspapers or disputing
other readers’ letters? How, if at all, did the role of readers’ letters vary between the six newspapers?
Finally, were there any differences of note in the style and format of the different newspapers’ letters
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