'Beat the Cheat’: Portrayals of disability benefit claimants in print media

Libby McEnhill, Victoria Byrne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


The Welfare Reform Act (2012) brought about changes to benefit entitlement and assessment for disabled people, with measures to reduce the budget in this area justified within parts of the Conservative Party and right-wing media through the use of narratives of deserving and undeserving citizens. Using a case study of the Sun newspaper's publications on disability in 2012, this paper illustrates that increasingly negative perceptions of disabled people in society are congruent with dominant portrayals of disability benefit recipients as undeserving in the right-wing press. In line with previous research, this supports the idea of a level of media influence on the public.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-110
Number of pages12
JournalThe Journal of Poverty and Social Justice
Issue number2
Early online date1 Jun 2014
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2014


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