Representations of the knowledge economy - Irish newspapers' discourses on a key policy idea
Trench, Brian (2009) Representations of the knowledge economy - Irish newspapers' discourses on a key policy idea. Irish Communications Review, 11 . pp. 3-20. ISSN 0791-0010
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Over a decade, ‘knowledge economy’ and ‘knowledge society’ have become key phrases in Irish public policy. This paper explores the contestation and semantic uncertainty of ‘knowledge economy’ and ‘knowledge society’ in academic discourses, their emphatic usage in policy discourses and the ways in which media have responded to the increasing and pervasive use of these key phrases across several sectors of public life. In a detailed examination of a body of newspaper material containing references to the knowledge economy or knowledge society, it is observed that journalists are more likely to use such phrases in attribution to others than to appropriate them directly. Analysing the occurrence of selected phrases in Irish newspapers, the paper notes that media caution and (to a lesser degree) scepticism about the validity of the policy commitment to the knowledge economy grew as evidence became stronger of the emerging economic crisis. This analysis offers a view of the process of naturalisation of phrases and terms from academic and policy discourses into the media vernacular.
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