The media, poverty and public opinion in the UK

John H. McKendrick, Stephen Sinclair, Anthea Irwin, Hugh O'Donnell, Gill Scott, Louise Dobbie

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


How the media in the UK represents poverty and its effect on wider public understanding.
The media fulfills an important role in shaping, amplifying and responding to public attitudes toward poverty. This study, part of the ‘Public Interest in Poverty Issues’ research programme, explores the role of national, local and community media in reflecting and influencing public ideas of poverty and welfare. The research aimed to: compare representations of poverty across different contemporary UK media; identify the principal factors and considerations influencing those involved in producing media coverage of poverty; understand how UK media representations of poverty relate to the public’s understanding of poverty, and any differences between the responses of different groups; identify examples of effective practice in communicating poverty issues to the public and derive transferable lessons from these.
The researchers analysed coverage of poverty in news reporting; looked at how the same poverty news story was reported across different news outlets; reviewed how poverty was presented across different genres of television programme; interviewed key informants involved in the production, placement and presentation of poverty coverage in the mass media and explored public interpretations and responses to media coverage of poverty through focus groups/workshops.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationYork
PublisherJoseph Rowntree Foundation
Commissioning bodyThe Joseph Rowntree Foundation
Number of pages72
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-85935-667-8
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2008


  • poverty
  • media
  • poverty perception
  • United Kingdom
  • UK


Dive into the research topics of 'The media, poverty and public opinion in the UK'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this