Media Participation in the Political Campaign on the Issue of Britain's Exit from the European Union

Download paper
Svetlana N. Gikis

PhD in Pedagogics, Associate Professor at the Chair of Journalism, Media Communication, and Public Relations, Pyatigorsk State University, Pyatigorsk, Russia

Elizabeth A. Kucherova

Graduate of Pyatigorsk State University, Pyatigorsk, Russia


Section: Foreign Journalism

The role of media in influencing society is steadily increasing in modern political communication. Being part of this trend, authoritative media serve to inform citizens about current political events and processes within the framework of the political agenda they form, and interpret political facts. The article shows the experience of media participation in the political campaign for Britain's withdrawal from the European Union, which took place mainly in 2016–2019. The authors chose the Sun and the Guardian newspapers because these media clearly represented the ‘Leave’ and ‘Remain’ parties. As a result, they actively participated in the political campaign and had a significant influence on the outcome of the vote. Three key stages of the implementation of the declared political campaign are identified in the article and the positions of the Sun and the Guardian at each stage are determined. The article uses content analysis of publications on Brexit in the two popular British newspapers (which made it possible to clarify the main technologies used in public opinion formation), as well as the method of comparative analysis (which helped to compare the positions and actions of the editorial teams in the Sun and the Guardian). The research has shown that the success of a political campaign much depends on the activity of the publication’s newsroom positioning itself as a political actor.

Keywords: media’s role, political campaign, Brexit, socio-political communications, public opinion
DOI: 10.30547/vestnik.journ.4.2020.197215


Casero-Ripollés A. (2018) Research on Political Information and Social Media: Key Points and Challenges for the Future. El profesional de la información 27 (5): 964–974.

Geçer E. (2018) Media, Politics and Democracy: A Critical Perspective. Erciyes İletişim Dergisi 5 (4): 479–492.

Grigonis Yu. E. (2017) Politicheskaya kommunikatsiya v kontekste sovremennoy politicheskoy teorii: dis. ... kand. polit. nauk. [Political Communication in the Context of Modern Political Theory: PhD polit. sci. diss.] Saint Petersburg. (In Russian)

Hofmann J. (2019) Mediated Democracy – Linking Digital Technology to Political Agency. Internet Policy Review 8 (2). Available at: (accessed: 10.01.2020). DOI: 10.14763/2019.2.1416

Jamil S. (2018) Politics in a Digital Age: the Impact of New Media Technologies on Public Participation and Political Campaign in Pakistan’s 2018 Elections – a Case Study of Karachi. Global Media Journal 16 (31).

Kalugina E.G. (2017) Internet-SMI kak subiekt politicheskoj kommunikacii: kljuchevye harakteristiki [Online Media as a Subject of Political Communication: Key Characteristics]. Voprosy teorii i praktiki zhurnalistiki. 6 (3): 406– 417. (In Russian)

Kutlu A. (2018) The Internet and Politics: Transformation of Political Communication. Available at: (accessed: 10.01.2020).

Makarov Yu. N. (2016) Osobennosti vozdeystviya internet-kommunikatorov na sotsial’nye protsessy v sovremennom rossiyskom obshchestve (na primere blogov i sotsial’nykh setey): dis. ... kand. sotsiol. nauk. [The Influence of Online Com-municators on the Social Processes in Modern Russian Society (a Case Study of Blogs and Social Networks): PhD social. sci. diss.] Krasnodar. (In Russian)

Volodenkov S. V. (2015) Tekhnologii internet-kommunikatsii v sisteme sovremennogo politicheskogo upravleniya: dis. ... dokt. polit. nauk. [Online Communication Technologies Within Modern Political Management: Dr. polit. sci. diss.] Moscow. (In Russian)

Volodenkov S. V., Chulkov D. I. (2018) Politicheskie kommunikacii kak instrument konstruirovanija sovremennoj social‘no-politicheskoj real‘nosti [Political Communications as a Tool for Constructing Modern Social and Political Reality]. Russkaja politologija 4 (9): 3–8. (In Russian)

Zuykina K. L. (2017) Osobennosti politicheskoy kommunikatsii v blogosfere Rossii i USA: dis. ... kand. filol. nauk. [Features of Political Communication in the Russian and American Blogosphere: PhD philol. sci. diss.] Moscow. (In Russian)