British voters went to the polls this week to decide whether to remain in, or leave, the European Union. After weeks of media wars between the Brexit and Bremain camps, the UK voted out with a mere 4 percent lead.
The UK media let the British voters down. It has fed the British people endless lies, endless propaganda about the EU. But I also think the media let itself down at a time when they badly needed to restore their credibility. This was the moment when they could've proved their value. And with a few notable exceptions, they signally failed to do so.
With a result this close, and a media market awash with polarised narratives, how much did the fearmongering really influence Britain's decision to leave?
Both sides played the fear card shamelessly. On the remain side, the media's rhetoric was one of "economic doom", with Prime Minister David Cameron - who has announced his intention to step down in October - often alluding to the grave financial consequences of leaving the EU. The campaign's tone led to it being nicknamed "Project Fear".
For the leave campaign, Rupert Murdoch's The Sun and newspaper tabloid The Daily Mail were also accused of spreading misinformation. As slogans bemoaning immigrant rights and pointing the finger of blame at the EU for financial mismanagement spread their way across newsstands, a clear thought divide was created.
Some even argue that the result has left the United Kingdom in a more divided state than it had been before the EU referendum.
Talking us through the media battle are: Anoosh Chakelian, deputy web editor, The New Statesman; Martin Fletcher, former journalist, The Times UK; Andrew Pierce, reporter, The Daily Mail; Henry Mance, political correspondent, The Financial Times; and Emma Hogan, European correspondent, The Economist.
Source: Al Jazeera