Conference Paper (unpublished)

The Scottish referendum in Slovenian Media



Jelen-Sanchez A (2015) The Scottish referendum in Slovenian Media. The 2014 Scottish independence referendum in the media, Stirling, 18.09.2015-18.09.2015.

The 2014 Scottish independence referendum represented one of the central political events in Europe and generated a substantial media coverage, including in Slovenia, which declared its independence from Yugoslavia in 1991. Several parallels can be drawn between Slovenia and Scotland; both represent relatively small countries, whose nations were subject to political and assimilation pressures of bigger nations. These in combination with ideological-political differences, centralisation tendencies and sense of economic exploitation within a larger state led to the rise of independence movements, resulting in a referendum experience, but with a different outcome. While at the Scottish independence referendum 55% of voters rejected the independence, in 1990 overwhelming 89% of Slovenian electorate voted for independence. The independence brought democratisation and a rapid political, economic and cultural development, as well as inclusion in the UN, EU and NATO. As one of the most successful new democracies, Slovenia was often described as "the story of success". Considering this positive post-independence experience, this paper examines how Slovenian media covered Scottish independence referendum. Framing analysis of 65 articles and 21 television news published and broadcasted in most influential media between 18 August and 24 September 2014, obtained through Kliping service and online TV archives was conducted. The results indicate that Slovenian media portrayed Scottish referendum in complex and dynamic frames, evolving from predominantly emotional and socio-historical to strong politico-economic frames. Rather than a result of nationalism, the referendum was represented as a reaction to failing political and economic systems, ideologies, neoliberalism and welfare state. Somewhat surprisingly, comparisons with the Slovenian fight for independence were rarely drawn. If they were, they - in line with current political and economic crisis - reflected national pessimism, referring to Slovenia as a failed national project, lacking vision, ideals, civic engagement and imagination, otherwise strongly present in pre-referendum Scotland.

Publication date30/09/2015
Related URLs
Publisher URL…enduminthemedia/
ConferenceThe 2014 Scottish independence referendum in the media
Conference locationStirling

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Dr Alenka Jelen

Dr Alenka Jelen

Associate Professor, Communications, Media and Culture