ARTICLE: Irish news on credit rating drops uncritical

When reporting the nations credit rate downgrading Irish print media adopted a discourse compliant to the status quo, writes Anthony Cawley, of Liverpool Hope University. Cawley studied news reports about credit rating announcements regarding Ireland, made by the world’s three dominant rating companies: Moody’s, Fitch and Standard & Poor’s.

Vast majority of the stories featured only cursory explanations of what the role of ratings and rating companies is in the global financing system. The rationales of their desicions were sometimes questioned, but the agencies’ role and necessity was not. By reproducing the official, elite-dictated discourse of credit rating agencies authority, Irish newspapers failed to educate their readership on the crucial mechanics of the international loan market, the author concludes.

Cawley’s analysis was published as an online-first article of the journal Journalism Studies. It can be accessed here (abstract public).

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