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Soc. Sci. 2018, 7(10), 181; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci7100181

Evolving Responsibility or Revolving Bias? The Role of the Media in the Anti-Sugar Debate in the UK Press

Leeds Business School, Leeds Beckett University, Leeds LS1 3HB, UK
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Received: 13 August 2018 / Revised: 19 September 2018 / Accepted: 25 September 2018 / Published: 29 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Media and Nationalism in the Network Society)
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Abstract

This paper analyzed the coverage on the anti-sugar debate and the supermarket industry in the British press, in a period between 2014 and 2015. Using social responsibility of the press theory and a qualitative two-tier content analysis, we first conducted a documentary analysis of public relations materials (press releases and surveys published by Action on Sugar as a main anti-sugar advocate in the UK), and then we traced these public relations materials in the press coverage. We also analyzed whether some sources are preferred more than others by focusing on the nature of quoted sources and whether the media give a voice to everyone, both the anti-sugar activists and the relevant industry figures who claim that sugar is not the only reason for the current obesity problem in the UK. The results show that the media have not given a representative voice to the industry but only to the anti-sugar NGOs, thus opening a question of journalism standards and the extent the press could be considered as socially responsible in this particular case. View Full-Text
Keywords: social responsibility theory; Hutchins Commission; UK; sugar debate; supermarket industry; news sources social responsibility theory; Hutchins Commission; UK; sugar debate; supermarket industry; news sources
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Topić, M.; Tench, R. Evolving Responsibility or Revolving Bias? The Role of the Media in the Anti-Sugar Debate in the UK Press. Soc. Sci. 2018, 7, 181.

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