International Journal of Communication
Publishes a Special Section on
Growing Economic Inequality and Mediated Communication

Economic Inequaltiy

The International Journal of Communication announces the publication of a Special Section focused on “Growing Economic Inequality and Mediated Communication” guest-edited by Paschal Preston and Andrea Grisold.

Sharp rises in economic inequalities have been one of the most significant developments in the heartlands of the capitalist system since the 1970s. Widening income gaps, increasingly uneven distribution of wealth and falling wage ratios comprise key aspects and indicators of this transformation. But many analysts also view the rise of populist nationalism and decline in the public’s trust in established political parties, media and other institutions as closely linked to the polarized distribution of income and other material resources.

After decades of benign neglect, the issues of economic and social inequalities have re-entered the stage of mainstream political attention in the core western countries over the past couple of years. This is due, in part, to the prominent public profile and popularity of books by Thomas Piketty and Tony Atkinson who have worked on this topic for many years.  Moreover, the renewed attention to economic and social inequality unfolds against a background of very slow, partial and highly uneven “recovery” from the major financial crash in the north-Atlantic region in 2007‒2008. Sluggish economic growth, declining or stagnant incomes, state policy regimes oriented toward austerity have followed in many countries and extreme turbulence in the formal political arena.

This special themed section of IJoC engages with two broad, if overlapping, sets of questions:

How do the new forms of economic inequality, power and privilege relate to relevant theories of the news media and prevailing conceptualizations of the role of the institutions of public communication? How does this knowledge base serve to help forward-looking analyses of the meaning and implications of recent trends in economic inequalities?

What role do the new forms of economic inequality, thus power and privilege, play in the typical narratives of mediated communication today? How does the “story-telling” take place? How is inequality framed and discussed?

The seven papers in this themed section are transdisciplinary in scope, bringing together several leading researchers, based in the communication studies, journalism and the political economy fields―all engaged in complementary ways in exploring the relations between media and public communication institutions on the one hand, and significant economic inequality trends and related developments on the other.

We invite you to read these articles that published on October 25, 2017 in the International Journal of Communication.  Please Ctrl+Click on the article titles below for direct links to the papers of interest.


Economic Inequalities and Mediated Communication―An Introduction
Paschal Preston, Dublin City University, Andrea Grisold, Vienna University of Economics and Business

How Come We Know? The Media Coverage of Economic Inequality
Andrea Grisold, Hendrik Theine, Vienna University of Economics and Business

The Mediation of Hope: Communication Technologies and Inequality in Perspective
Robin Mansell, London School of Economics

Citizen Detriment: Communications, Inequality and Social Order
Peter Golding, Northumbria University

Contrasting Conceptions, Discourses and Studies of Economic Inequalities
Paschal Preston, Dublin City University, Henry Silke, University of Limerick

Favoring the Elites: Think Tanks and Discourse Coalitions
Núria Almiron, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain 

Economic Inequality in German Quality Press: Framing Concerns About Inequality and Redistribution
Julian Bank, University of Duisburg-Essen


Larry Gross

Arlene Luck
Managing Editor

Paschal Preston, Andrea Grisold
Guest Editors