Seasonality and regional disparity in attention to homelessness in UK newspapers between 2001 and 2020

Chauhan, Apurv, Singh, Himanshu, Trivedi, Hiral, Reilley-Thornton, Ashley, Etherington, Natasha and Foster, Juliet (2024) Seasonality and regional disparity in attention to homelessness in UK newspapers between 2001 and 2020. Journal of Social Distress and Homelessness. pp. 1-11. ISSN 1053-0789 (In Press)

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This research examined the amount of media attention to homelessness in 11 UK newspapers with two main research questions: (1) Does the media coverage exhibit seasonal cyclical patterns in their attention to homelessness? (2) Do England's nine regions differ in the attention they receive after adjusting for their relative homelessness levels? Time series of all 4105 news reports with the keyword “homeless*” in their headline between 2001 and 2020 were tested for meteorological and monthly seasonal effects, revealing significantly greater attention in winter but decreased coverage in spring and summer. Contrary to expectation, further analysis suggested that the increased winter coverage was not related to the colder months but to the Christmas period. Regarding regional differences, London received the highest mentions in the news but after adjusting for the relative burden of homelessness, the North West emerged as receiving the most relative coverage. The East Midlands and East of England had the lowest adjusted attention scores. As suggested by the public arenas model, the findings of this research suggest that media focus on social problems like homelessness be culturally patterned with key events like Christmas shaping issue-prominence. Similarly, regional imbalances in attention may reflect a systemic bias in news reporting

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Media attention on homelessness | Seasonal effects in media attention | Regional bias in media | Christmas effect | Public arenas model
Subjects: Social Sciences and humanities > Social Sciences > Social Sciences (General)
Social Sciences and humanities > Social Sciences > Journalism, News and Media
Social Sciences and humanities > Social Sciences > Sociology
JGU School/Centre: Jindal Institute of Behavioural Sciences
Depositing User: Subhajit Bhattacharjee
Date Deposited: 25 Apr 2024 03:06
Last Modified: 25 Apr 2024 03:06
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