Call for Papers: Journal of Applied Journalism & Media Studies Special Issue on Media, Poverty and Inequality

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Call for Papers
April 7, 2023
Subject Fields: 
Cultural History / Studies, Journalism and Media Studies

Call for Papers: Journal of Applied Journalism & Media Studies


Special Issue: ‘Media, Poverty and Inequality’


The Journal of Applied Journalism & Media Studies (AJMS) invites submissions to a Special Issue on Media, Poverty and Inequality.


Media framing of poverty has been shown by many scholars to be highly problematic (see Golding and Middleton 1982; Devereux 1998; Breen and Devereux 2003; Devereux 2007; Devereux and Power 2019; Clawson and Trice 2000). Those experiencing poverty and inequality have, variously, been ignored, demonized and sensationalized, and poverty is more likely to be explained in terms of individual failings/weaknesses (Lyndon 2019; Morrisson 2019).  Discourses circulate which divide the poor into the ‘deserving’ and ‘undeserving’, with Moral Underclass Discourses ensuring that the ‘genuineness’ of particular groups experiencing poverty (the homeless; welfare-recipients; lone-parents; immigrants; Roma, for example) is called into question (Lens 2002). In this discursive space, classed, gendered and racialized discourses often intersect when poverty is alluded to (Edelman 1998; Lens 2002). 


In a media setting, the conspicuous silence about the underlying structural causes of poverty and how it might be reduced or eliminated through redistributive means is notable (Harkins and Lugo-Ocando 2018; Lens 2002). 35 years ago, Devereux (1988) for example, noted how reporting on poverty suffered from source bias in that it relied heavily on the perspectives and actions of elite figures rather than the poor themselves. Equally, charitable as opposed to structural responses were favoured, thus permitting existing unequal power structures to go unchallenged. The long-standing deficit in terms of how media report on poverty has, if anything, been exacerbated in recent years, with media conglomeration resulting in even more infotainment and even less critical media coverage of issues such as poverty and inequality (Shildrick 2018). 


This Special Edition seeks to examine such continuities and changes in media coverage of poverty and inequality and consider the ideological underpinnings of how poverty and inequality are explained to the public by both legacy and new news media organisations. Academics, practitioners, and researchers with an active interest in the following themes are especially invited to submit a research paper:


  • Media coverage of class and poverty,

  • ‘Deservedness’ versus ‘Undeservedness’,

  • Welfare and immigration,

  • Media coverage of food poverty/food banks,

  • Homelessness and housing crisis,

  • The capacity or not of citizen journalism to provide alternative counterpoints to hegemonic media discourses concerning poverty,

  • Media stigmatization of poor neighbourhoods,

  • Media discourses concerning poverty in ‘new’ media settings,

  • Media constructions of ‘the new poor’,

  • Source bias and media explanations of poverty,

  • Ethnographies of news production concerning social welfare, poverty.




Abstract (300 to 500 words) – 7 April 2023


Accepted abstracts notification – 14 April 2023


Full paper submission – 30 September 2023


Accepted papers notification – 15 November 2023


Revisions and Publishing Contract – 30 December 2023


Final submissions – 29 March 2024


Date of print – June 2024


The acceptance of submission will be based on the quality of research, study or discussion, the originality of the paper, and the relevance of the contribution to the subject focus of the Special Issue. All submissions will be subjected to a double-blind peer review process. Final papers should be 6,000-8,000 words in length.




Please direct enquiries and abstract submissions to


Visit the journal website here:


Guest Editors: Martin J. Power ( and Eoin Devereux (

Contact Info: 

Guest Editors: Martin J. Power ( and Eoin Devereux (

Contact Email: