A new paper on housing and the Irish crisis has just been published in New Political Economy by Julien Mercille: “The Role of the Media in Sustaining Ireland’s Housing Bubble”. It seems to be open access to download from the journal page. There is also a short piece about it here. This is the abstract:
This paper examines Irish mainstream media coverage of the housing bubble that burst in 2007 and plunged Ireland into economic and financial crisis. It is shown that news organisations largely sustained the bubble until the property market collapsed. As such, news stories reflected the views and interests of the Irish corporate and governmental sectors, which had adopted neoliberal policies during the ‘Celtic Tiger’ years (1990s to 2007). A political economic conceptualisation of the Irish media outlines four factors explaining why this is so: (1) news organisations have multiple links with the political and corporate establishment, of which they are part, thus sharing similar interests and viewpoints; (2) just like elite circles, they hold a neoliberal ideology, dominant during the boom years; (3) they feel pressures from advertisers, in particular, real estate companies; and (4) they rely heavily on ‘experts’ from elite institutions in reporting events. The last section presents a detailed empirical analysis of Irish media coverage (newspapers and television) of the housing bubble that confirms the above claims. It is shown that prior to the bubble’s collapse, the media made little mention of it, remained vague about it or tried to refute claims that it even existed, thus sustaining it.