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Intersectionality and Press Coverage of Political Campaigns: Representations of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Female Candidates at the UK 2010 General Election

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Orly Siow



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Sage Publications, Inc., 2017.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


Internationally, scholars have raised substantial concerns regarding unfavorable news coverage of female political candidates and representatives. However, prior research has scarcely considered the intersectional effects of political actors’ race and gender in this context. I investigate these dynamics through a case study of the U.K. 2010 general election, a breakthrough year for black, Asian, and minority ethnic (BAME) women in British politics. Only three had previously been elected to parliament but a further seven joined their ranks that year. While headlines celebrated the possibility of a “small revolution” resulting in “the most diverse parliament ever,” the press also subjected BAME female candidates to exceptional scrutiny regarding their credentials and ability to “transform politics.” Employing a quantitative content analysis of national newspaper coverage, I find that the apparent newsworthiness of BAME women’s intersectional identity was a double-edged sword. While they arguably enjoyed a visibility advantage compared with white female candidates, their coverage was also exceptionally negative and narrowly focused on their ethnicity and gender. I argue that as national legislatures become increasingly diverse, single axis analyses of the effects of politicians’ race, gender, or other axes of identity are insufficient to capture their combined effects on press coverage of politics.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Ward O

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: International Journal of Press/Politics

Year: 2017

Volume: 22

Issue: 1

Pages: 43-66

Print publication date: 01/01/2017

Online publication date: 20/10/2016

Acceptance date: 24/08/2016

Date deposited: 07/08/2019

ISSN (print): 1940-1612

ISSN (electronic): 1940-1620

Publisher: Sage Publications, Inc.


DOI: 10.1177/1940161216673195


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