A look at how the media covered the election, from the periods: 30th march - 29th of april (mon - friday) here: http://blog.lboro.ac.uk/general-electio ... -report-4/
Sources used: Television: Channel 4 News (7pm), Channel 5 News (6.30pm), BBC1 News at 10, ITV1 News at 10, BBC2 Newsnight, Sky News 8-8.30pm
Press: The Guardian, Independent, Times, Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail, Daily Express, Mirror, Sun, Star and MetroIntial, key findings:
Negative press treatment of Miliband and Labour is intensifying as the campaign enters its final stages.
The televised leadership events in this campaign have attracted less than half the levels of commentary found for the leadership debates in the 2010 General Election.
Russell Brand makes it into the top 20 most reported political figures.
Economy and Taxation continue to dominate the election agenda.Aperance of party coverage:
Note percentages=number of appearances of party/ total number of party appearances
Our results show:
On TV news, both main parties appear roughly the same amount of time on TV news but the Conservatives speak for longer. Figures 1.1 and 1.2 show that a ‘quotation gap’ is still evident in TV news coverage, favouring the Conservatives, but Table 1.1 shows there is no ‘appearance gap’ in TV news coverage.
The Conservatives appear more often in the press and are quoted more often. The data reveals a large ‘quotation gap’ and an ‘appearance gap’ in press coverage favouring the Conservatives.
The ‘quotation gap’ is growing to the Conservatives advantage in the press, from 12.93% last week to 14.92% this week but has continued to shrink on TV from 4.2% up to 22 April to 3.4% up to 29 April.
For the minor parties the leaders continue to be the main (if not only) actor to regularly appear and speak in the news on both press and TV.
UKIP is sustaining its presence on the TV news and press coverage. UKIP is level with Lib Dems in terms of quotation in press but not TV coverage.
There was little change from last week in the quotation time and appearance of the Greens, Plaid Cyrmu, and the SNP.Directional balance
The findings show:
An increase in positive rankings for the Conservative party over the latest sample period.
Increased levels of negativity for Labour-related coverage in the latest part of the analysis.
A recent increase in the negativity of SNP coverage.
UKIP has secured a positive aggregate profile for the first time, albeit highly marginal.
In the above measure, all rated articles are treated as equal. But, of course, newspapers have very different circulations. For example, in March 2015 the Sun sold 1.858 million copies a day, whereas the Independent sold around 58,000.
After a helpful suggestion from one of our twitter followers, this week we have weighted instances of positive/ negative coverage by circulation. For example, a positively ranked article in the Sun was scored as 1 x 1.858, whereas a positive Independent ranking was scored as 1 x 0.058.
When these weightings are factored in, a different perspective starts to emerge about directional imbalances in press coverage (see Figure 2.2).The findings show:
The strong positive media rankings for the SNP in the first sample period were mainly located in the ‘quality’ newspapers with lower circulation. As a result, SNP rankings overall were only marginally positive by this measure.
On the other hand, the negative rankings for the SNP in periods 2-4 were not as dramatic as those suggested by Figure 2.1. This again reveals that a lot of this negatively inclined coverage was focused in the quality press.
The negative coverage of the Labour party has increased week-on-week and considerably exceeds the negativity found in SNP and UKIP coverage. This reveals a high proportion of negative coverage of Labour among the most popular newspapers.
In contrast, the Conservative party has had uniquely positive cumulative treatment in the national press, particularly the more popular titles. Moreover, this positive pattern is more consistent and considerable than is suggested by Figure 2.1.
UKIP treatment remains consistently in debit, but less clearly so than in Figure 2.1. This may reflect that most levels of negatively orientated coverage is located in the quality press, but could also signify the impact of Daily Express and Daily Star coverage. As was noted in our previous report, both papers have been uniquely positive in their coverage of this challenger party.
Coverage of the ‘horse race’ itself still dominates the news but has decreased this week by around 8%. That said, its volume is still striking when compared to substantive campaign issues. Turning to these, the following patterns are evident.
Interest in constitutional issues has continued to grow, driven in no small way by opinion polls predicting a SNP landslide in Scotland and speculation about what this might mean for post-election relations between the SNP and Labour. Also up this week is news about business, housing and taxation.
Holding steady is coverage of the economy, which remains the leading substantive issue in the news.
In addition, coverage of employment, race/Immigration/Minorities/Religion, standards/Corruption/Scandals/Sleaze, defence and the military and social security are also almost unchanged.
NHS has fallen steadily as an issue over the campaign and is now outside the top ten leading issues for the first time – bad news for Labour who could be said to own the issue. It could be said that their attempt to ‘weaponize’ the has resulted in the production of a water-pistol.
There are several issues which we might have expected to feature more prominently in the campaign but have so far been largely invisible. Key amongst these is Education, which although it has increased this week has attracted relatively little attention given its importance – possibly bad news for the Liberal Democrats who have made it one of their major campaign issues. The environment has also failed to gather any momentum as an issue despite the increased presence of the Greens on the electoral stage.Summary
With the exclusion of so-called ‘meta-coverage’, the week’s campaign agenda has been dominated by the economy, taxation, and business, issues which the Conservatives are seen to have advantage over Labour and the other parties in terms of public opinion. The steady disappearance of the NHS from the agenda is also bad news for Labour. The NHS has not featured in the latter part of the campaign as Labour would have wanted. Finally, the relative absence of news on Europe, and to a lesser extent immigration, at this stage of the campaign could be seen as bad news for UKIP who have campaigned hard on these issues. As we move into the last week of the election campaign it appears that the media campaign at least is being fought primarily on Conservative terrain and that Conservative-supporting national newspapers are key agents in this process.http://blog.lboro.ac.uk/general-electio ... -report-4/
Much more at the link, take a look, its pretty Intresting stuff.