web analytics

Are the UK media biased?

Written By: - Date published: 9:48 am, November 22nd, 2019 - 16 comments
Categories: boris johnson, Jeremy Corbyn, Media, Politics, uk politics - Tags: , , ,

Originally posted on Nick Kelly’s blog

Accusations of media bias are nothing new. It is impossible to be totally objective, and to claim otherwise is simply misleading.

In a democracy, the role of the forth estate is critical. Media are one of the main ways people become informed about issues so they can make informed choices. Most people can see through editorial lines or declared bias. What is less excusable is when reporting deliberately misleads.

Image
                                                          From Page of the Sun in July 2019. Is there bias in the UK media?

Jeremy Corbyn used the Labour Party’s election campaign launch to attack the Rupert Murdoch claiming he was a “billionaire media baron, whose empire pumps out propaganda to support a rigged system.” Many claim Corbyn has not received a fair hearing in the British media. Academic research has been produced highlighting ways in which the UK media has misrepresented or shown a negative bias towards Corbyn’s leadership of the UK Labour Party. Though one explanation for this could be the number of Labour MPs who openly critise Mr Corbyn in the media.

General elections see heightened interest in politics. More than ever people turn to the media for information before they cast their ballot. So how are the UK media doing? It’s well known that UK newspapers have editorial lines. For example most people realise that the Sun is a right wing tabloid, and The Guardian is more liberal (small L). But are the UK media providing accurate coverage?

Much of the reporting of the election has focussed on polling. As mentioned in my first post about the UK election polls have been woefully inaccurate in the UK. Prior to the Brexit referendum in 2016, polls showed that Remain would win. In the 2017 election polls showed the Tories would increase their majority, when instead they lost it. In 2015 polls showed Labour and Conservative to be neck and neck – the Conservatives won a majority. In 2010 polls overstated the Liberal Democrats support by 10%. If we go even further back, in 1992 polls showed Labour would win that election, then on election day the Conservatives were returned to government.

Despite this, many in the media still seem to report on polling numbers as reliable and scientific. The polls may well be right this time, but given the history one should be dubious. Some polling companies continue to make the assumption that turnout for under 30s will be low, despite higher than usual youth turnout in 2017 and a large number of young people enrolling to vote after the election was called.

On Tuesday, the day the first leaders debate on ITV, two polls were released. The first was an online twitter poll where 30,000 people responded. This poll was not scientific.  The second was a You Gov poll, one of the UK’s most established polling companies. The twitter poll results were that 78% thought Jeremy Corbyn won compared with Boris Johnson who got 22%. The You Gov poll had Boris Johnson winning 51% of the vote, and Corbyn 49%. The second poll was widely reported, and used by commentators in their analysis. The next morning, it came out on twitter that the You Gov poll was released at 6:50pm – 70 minutes prior the debate starting.

poll

We can speculate as to what happened here and why. But needless to say, there are many who question whether the media coverage of this election has helped inform public debate.

Increasingly though, traditional media is no longer people’s main source of information. My next post will look at the role at social media is playing in the UK election and its contribution to media and society generally.

To support Momentum campaign for a Corbyn led Labour Government in the UK you can give your support here.

16 comments on “Are the UK media biased? ”

  1. Gosman 1

    Ummm…. the UK media is INCREDIBLY diverse. If you want different media view points or analysis there are plenty of options. On top of that the State funded media is meant to be the model that many people here would love to see NZ follow. What exactly is the problem?

  2. Sanctuary 2

    The title of this post has a wasted question mark.

  3. Gosman 4

    If you think Twitter is a good medium to gauge wider public opinion you are not as politically astute as you think you are.

    • weka 4.1

      you appear to have missed the point of that paragraph, and indeed the whole post.

      • Gosman 4.1.1

        No, I got it. It is just another moan from a leftist about negative poll results and supposed anti-leftist bias in the media which they think stops people voting for left wing political parties.

        • Stuart Munro. 4.1.1.1

          The subtleties, as ever, go over your head.

          When reportage centres on polling – horserace journalism – voting attention is shifted from issues and policies to team loyalty. This naturally reduces the natural disadvantage of the Right, whose policies are invariably unmitigated shite that will not bear rational examination.

        • Ed1 4.1.1.2

          I've just seen a published poll that says that on 25 December 2019 Gosman posted 3 unjustifiably negative comments about "the left", and 2 comments that were not on topic.

        • Dukeofurl 4.1.1.3

          Gosman did you check the front pages the day after the 2017 election when the Labour vote increased 9%…or did you find the partisan UK press just moved onto new targets

          Well here they are ..https://www.theguardian.com/politics/gallery/2017/jun/09/cor-blimey-general-election-uk-front-pages-in-pictures

          The Tory papers ignored Corbyn but tore into May

  4. Gabby 5

    Apparently a beebeebceeb exec claimed that questioning pollies' dishonest statements would undermine the public's faith in the lying scum.

  5. Siobhan 6

    Though, strangely, as certain folk round these parts will attest, the msm coverage of Assange and RUSSIA is entirely balanced, fair and accurate…go figure…

    Personally I find certain Lefty sorry, centrist political blogs in NZ seem to take their que from the biased msm..both UK and America.

    *****and just for laughs..here's the Guardians live coverage of the Democratic debate..they mention Bernie ONCE, (and thats just in IN THE FRICKEN LIST), plus once as a #…

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/live/2019/nov/20/democratic-debate-2019-atlanta-georgia-latest-news-biden-warren-sanders-buttigieg

    • Phil 6.1

      they mention Bernie ONCE

      They mention Sanders plenty of times… you just didn't bother making the oh so difficult effort of clicking past page one (of seven) of the live blog history and seeing he's then all over the coverage.

      • Felix 6.1.1

        'All over the coverage'
        I dont want to go to too far down the rabbit hole of sermantics but..

        Biden is mentioned 55 (Not including headline or article #'s.
        Ok fair, hes the forerunner in most polls, it makes sense for converage to be around him, his performance is sure to be the most scrutinised

        Warren, 22 time.
        A bit of a drop off. Strange, shes almost neck and neck with Biden in the polls, shes a major player.

        Sanders13 times
        Hes shaped this primary with his radical left wing style in the last cycle, and is still preforming strongly in this cycle, surely there is some interest in him…

        Harris, 48 times
        Shes tailing all these candiates, and shes almost leading coverage.
        Sure, this is just one example, and sure, they still cover all candiates, but if you think there is no trend going on here, then hell, ive got a bridge to sell you!

  6. Incognito 7

    The first rule of traditional media is to sell.

    The way I see is that when traditional media lose the trust of the people as the main source of accurate and true information they could try to counter that by being more trustworthy and truthful or by being more sensationalist and extreme, i.e. through radicalising content and format. It seems they have chosen the second option.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Fast track referrals will speed up recovery and boost jobs and home building
    The Government is taking action to increase jobs, speed up the economic recovery and build houses by putting three more projects through its fast track approval process. “It’s great to see that the fast-track consenting process is working. Today we have referred a mix of potential projects that, if approved, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Papakāinga provides critically needed homes in Hastings
    A papakāinga opened today by the Minister for Māori Development the Hon Willie Jackson will provide whānau with much needed affordable rental homes in Hastings. The four home papakāinga in Waiōhiki is the first project to be completed under the ‘Hastings Place Based’ initiative. This initiative is a Government, Hastings ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand ready to host APEC virtually
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern took over the leadership of APEC earlier today, when she joined leaders from the 21 APEC economies virtually for the forum’s final 2020 meeting. “We look forward to hosting a fully virtual APEC 2021 next year. While this isn’t an in-person meeting, it will be one ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Revival of Māori Horticulturists
    The rapid revival of Māori horticulture was unmistakeable at this year’s Ahuwhenua Trophy Awards, with 2020 marking the first time this iconic Māori farming event was dedicated to horticulture enterprises. Congratulating finalists at the Awards, Māori Development Minister Willie Jackson said growing large-scale māra kai is part of Māori DNA. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Emergency benefit to help temporary visa holders
    From 1 December, people on temporary work, student or visitor visas who can’t return home and or support themselves may get an Emergency Benefit from the Ministry of Social Development, Social Development and Employment Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced today. Previously, temporary visa holders in hardship because of COVID-19 have had ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • School sustainability projects to help boost regional economies
    Forty one schools from the Far North to Southland will receive funding for projects that will reduce schools’ emissions and save them money, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. This is the second round of the Sustainability Contestable Fund, and work will begin immediately. The first round announced in April ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Farmer-led projects to improve water health in Canterbury and Otago
    More than $6 million will be spent on helping farmers improve the health of rivers, wetlands, and habitat biodiversity in Canterbury and Otago, as well as improving long-term land management practices, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. Four farmer-led catchment group Jobs for Nature projects have between allocated between $176,000 and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Tupu Aotearoa continues expansion to Pacific communities in Nelson, Marlborough, Tasman & Northl...
    Pacific communities in Nelson, Marlborough, Tasman and Northland will benefit from the expansion of the Tupu Aotearoa programme announced today by the Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio. The programme provides sustainable employment and education pathways and will be delivered in partnership with three providers in Northland and two ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New primary school and classrooms for 1,200 students in South Island
    Education Minister Chris Hipkins unveiled major school building projects across the South Island during a visit to Waimea College in Nelson today. It’s part of the Government’s latest investment of $164 million to build new classrooms and upgrade schools around the country. “Investments like this gives the construction industry certainty ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Minister of Māori Development pays tribute to Rudy Taylor
      Today the Minister of Māori Development, alongside other Government Ministers and MP’s said their final farewells to Nga Puhi Leader Rudy Taylor.  “Rudy dedicated his life to the betterment of Māori, and his strong approach was always from the ground up, grassroots, sincere and unfaltering”  “Over the past few ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Prime Minister to attend APEC Leaders’ Summit
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will attend the annual APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting and associated events virtually today and tomorrow. “In a world where we cannot travel due to COVID-19, continuing close collaboration with our regional partners is key to accelerating New Zealand’s economic recovery,” Jacinda Ardern said. “There is wide ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech to Infrastructure NZ Symposium
    Tena Koutou, Tena Koutou and thank you for inviting me to speak to you today. This is a critical time for New Zealand as we respond to the damage wreaked by the global COVID-19 pandemic. It is vital that investment in our economic recovery is well thought through, and makes ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Pike River 10 Year Anniversary Commemorative Service
    Tēnei te mihi ki a tātau katoa e huihui nei i tēnei rā Ki a koutou ngā whānau o te hunga kua riro i kōnei – he mihi aroha ki a koutou Ki te hapori whānui – tēnā koutou Ki ngā tāngata whenua – tēnā koutou Ki ngā mate, e ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Huge investment in new and upgraded classrooms to boost construction jobs
    Around 7,500 students are set to benefit from the Government’s latest investment of $164 million to build new classrooms and upgrade schools around the country. “The election delivered a clear mandate to accelerate our economic recovery and build back better. That’s why we are prioritising construction projects in schools so more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Keeping Pike River Mine promises 10 years on
    Ten years after the Pike River Mine tragedy in which 29 men lost their lives while at work, a commemorative service at Parliament has honoured them and their legacy of ensuring all New Zealand workplaces are safe. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern attended the event, along with representatives of the Pike ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Additional testing to strengthen border and increase safety of workers
    New testing measures are being put in place to increase the safety of border workers and further strengthen New Zealand’s barriers against COVID-19, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “These strengthened rules – to apply to all international airports and ports – build on the mandatory testing orders we’ve ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • More public housing delivered in Auckland
    The Government’s investment in public housing is delivering more warm, dry homes with today’s official opening of 82 new apartments in New Lynn by the Housing Minister Megan Woods. The Thom Street development replaces 16 houses built in the 1940s, with brand new fit-for-purpose public housing that is in high ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Agreement advanced to purchase up to 5 million COVID-19 vaccines
    The Government has confirmed an in-principle agreement to purchase up to 5 million COVID-19 vaccines – enough for 5 million people – from Janssen Pharmaceutica, subject to the vaccine successfully completing clinical trials and passing regulatory approvals in New Zealand, says Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods. “This agreement ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Jobs for Nature funding will leave a conservation legacy for Waikanae awa
    Ninety-two jobs will be created to help environmental restoration in the Waikanae River catchment through $8.5 million of Jobs for Nature funding, Conservation Minister Kiritapu Allan announced today. “The new funding will give a four-year boost to the restoration of the Waikanae awa, and is specifically focussed on restoration through ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Dunedin Hospital project progresses to next stage
    As the new Dunedin Hospital project progresses, the Government is changing the oversight group to provide more technical input, ensure continued local representation, and to make sure lessons learnt from Dunedin benefit other health infrastructure projects around the country. Concept design approval and the release of a tender for early ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Jump in apprentice and trainee numbers
    The number of New Zealanders taking up apprenticeships has increased nearly 50 percent, and the number of female apprentices has more than doubled. This comes as a Government campaign to raise the profile of vocational education and training (VET) begins. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • ReBuilding Nations Symposium 2020 (Infrastructure NZ Conference opening session)
    Tena koutou katoa and thank you for the opportunity to be with you today. Can I acknowledge Ngarimu Blair, Ngati Whatua, and Mayor Phil Goff for the welcome. Before I start with my substantive comments, I do want to acknowledge the hard work it has taken by everyone to ensure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand's biosecurity champions honoured
    Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor has paid tribute to the winners of the 2020 New Zealand Biosecurity Awards. “These are the people and organisations who go above and beyond to protect Aotearoa from pests and disease to ensure our unique way of life is sustained for future generations,” Damien O’Connor says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Tourism Industry Aotearoa Conference
    speech to Tourism Industry Aotearoa annual summit Te Papa,  Wellington Introduction Nau mai, haere mai Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, Ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou. Thank you Tourism Industry Aotearoa for hosting today’s Summit. In particular, my acknowledgements to TIA Chair Gráinne Troute and Chief Executive Chris Roberts. You ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Supermarkets announced as Government’s second market study
    The Government has today launched a market study to ensure New Zealanders are paying a fair price for groceries.   “Supermarkets are an integral part of our communities and economy, so it’s important to ensure that Kiwis are getting a fair deal at the checkout,” Minister of Commerce and Consumer ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Masks to be worn on Auckland public transport and all domestic flights
    Masks will need to be worn on all public transport in Auckland and in and out of Auckland and on domestic flights throughout the country from this Thursday, Minister for COVID-19 Response Chris Hipkins said today. “I will be issuing an Order under the COVID-19 Response Act requiring the wearing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand signs Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership
    Increase to New Zealand’s GDP by around $2 billion each year Increase opportunities for NZ exporters to access regional markets Cuts red tape and offers one set of trade rules across the Asia Pacific region New government procurement, competition policy and electronic commerce offers NZ exporters increased business opportunities Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Minister acknowledges students as exams begin
    Education Minister Chris Hipkins has recognised the extraordinary challenges students have faced this year, ahead of NCEA and New Zealand Scholarship exams which begin on Monday. “I want to congratulate students for their hard work during a year of unprecedented disruption, and I wish students all the best as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister meets with key ASEAN and East Asia Summit partners
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern today attended the ASEAN-New Zealand Commemorative Summit and discussed with Leaders a range of shared challenges facing the Indo-Pacific region, including: The ongoing management of the COVID-19 pandemic; The importance of working collectively to accelerate economic recovery; and Exploring further opportunities for partners to work more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Veterans Affairs Summit held in Korea
    A Ministerial Summit on Veterans’ Affairs was held in the Republic of Korea this week. Ministers with veteran responsibilities were invited from all 22 countries that had been part of the United Nations Forces during the Korean War (1950 – 1953). The Summit marked the 70th anniversary of the outbreak ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Clear direction set for the education system, skills prioritised
    The Government has released a set of priorities for early learning through to tertiary education and lifelong learning to build a stronger, fairer education system that delivers for all New Zealanders. “The election delivered a clear mandate from New Zealanders to accelerate our plan to reduce inequalities and make more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • A Progressive Agenda
    Speech to the Climate Change + Business Conference, November 12, 2020 Tena koutou katoa Thank you for inviting me to speak here today. It is great to see us all come together for a common cause: to redefine our future in the face of unprecedented times.  Covid-19 and climate change are ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Commemorative address at Act of Remembrance for Armistice Day
    Tuatahi māku  Ka mihi tu ki a koe Pita E pīkauria ana i te mana o Ngā tūpuna o te whenua nei. Thank you Bernadette for your warm introduction. I would also like to reflect on your acknowledgments and welcome Peter Jackson, Taranaki Whānui; Members of the National War Memorial ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New fund launched to reduce carbon emissions from coal and gas
    The Labour Government is quickly delivering a key election policy that will help business to switch from fossil fuels like coal and gas to clean energy for process heat while accelerating the economic recovery from Covid. The $70 million fund will allow business and industries to access financial support to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Support for flood affected Napier community
    The government will contribute $100,000 towards a Mayoral Relief Fund to support those most affected by the recent severe weather in Napier, the Minister for Emergency Management Kiri Allan announced today. “I have been in the region overnight meeting with locals and emergency service responders to discuss their needs, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New vaping laws take effect today
    New laws intended to discourage young people from vaping while allowing smokers to continue using vaping to give up cigarettes take effect today, Health Minister Andrew Little says. “Today’s changes mean the laws around vaping are now similar to those around tobacco smoking,” Andrew Little says. The Smokefree Environments and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • $84m to support research in science
    The Government is investing $84.7 million in innovative research projects including those focussed on health, climate change, astronomy and the impact of Big Data on social equality says Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods. This year’s Marsden Fund will support 134 new projects including explorations of the connection between ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Former Cook Islands Prime Minister mourned
    Foreign Affairs Minister Hon Nanaia Mahuta has noted with sadness the passing of Jim Marurai, who served as Cook Islands Prime Minister between 2004 and 2010.  “Jim Marurai made a significant contribution to his country through a lifetime of service.  “As a teacher and as a politician, he was greatly ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister heads to flood-hit Napier
    Minister of Emergency Management Kiri Allan will travel to Napier this afternoon to meet with frontline staff and residents affected by the severe weather that hit the area overnight. “My thoughts are with the Napier community as they deal with the damage and disruption that this deluge has caused, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Crown accounts better than forecast as confidence in the economy grows
    The Government’s books were stronger than expected as the economy continues to recover post COVID lockdown, the Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Crown Accounts for the three months to the end of September show a lower than forecast deficit due to a better than expected tax take. “Tax revenue ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago