Is Brexit Press Coverage Skewed?

(107 Posts)
STIDW Mon 23-May-16 14:03:29

An independent study released today found 45% of the articles surveyed baked leaving the EU with only 27% in favour of staying. Most pro-leave articles appeared in The Daily Mail, closely followed by The Daily Express, The Daily Star, The Sun and The Daily Telegraph.

The Times was relatively balanced, while the most pro-remain articles were published by, in order, The Daily Mirror, The Guardian and The Financial Times.

reutersinstitute.politics.ox.ac.uk/news/study-shows-majority-press-coverage-eu-referendum-campaign-was-heavily-skewed-favour-brexit

Problem is Infacts (journalists making the fact-based case to remain) claims each has published a string of stories on migration, terrorism, crime & control of our borders that contain factual mistakes &/or distortions & reported 8 of the worst examples of inaccurate or misleading stories to the Independent Press Standards Organisation.

infacts.org/hateful_eight/

claig Mon 23-May-16 14:27:49

'Is Brexit Press Coverage Skewed?'

Is the reason that there are more Brexit articles than Bremain ones in the non-establishment press (i.e. non Guardian, BBC etc) in order to correct the inaccuracies of the Bremain campaign statements?

Winterbiscuit Mon 23-May-16 14:41:04

The government's official material, including the leaflet sent to all UK households, has all been pro-EU, despite there being many within their ranks who are pro-Brexit.

The BBC has been found to have a pro-EU bias. The Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) has produced a report which includes a section headed "Omission of EU withdrawalist voices".

The Problem of Bias in the BBC

One example they give is a News-watch survey of Radio 4's Today programme between March 2004 and June 2015 "included 4,275 guest speakers on EU themes. Just 132 of these (3.2 per cent) were identifiably in favour of Britain’s withdrawal from the EU."

Of the small number of pro-Brexit speakers, 72 per cent were from UKIP.

"Left-leaning withdrawalist voices have accounted for just 0.07 per cent of all EU speakers over this period (three appearances from Labour Party supporters and one representative from the Socialist Labour Party)."

... "the Today programme has exhibited significant bias by omission in terms of excluding the voices of those who believe Britain should leave the EU, particularly non-UKIP voices."

ThisCakeFilledIsle Mon 23-May-16 14:48:03

Ime the papers are not held in high esteem even by those who buy them!

The BBC are trusted more to be impartial.

Warnings from the treasury are most likely to terrify people into staying I think. It's the economy as ever.

wintersdawn Mon 23-May-16 14:54:27

I would say it's biased to stay not leave. I'm sick of government campaigns popping up on social media sites but encouraged that the comments seem to be a lot more rational than we should stay because next year we'll be getting cheaper holiday texts!

FarAwayHills Mon 23-May-16 18:07:28

It certainly doesn't feel like it. I think the constant propaganda from the remain side implying that the world will end and we will all starve and be reduced to peasant farming if we leave the EU. The BBC a definitely leaning a lot towards this and unfortunately because the appear to be a trusted credible source they have a huge influence.

FarAwayHills Mon 23-May-16 18:08:30

Apologies typing and cooking dinner not good

GhostofFrankGrimes Mon 23-May-16 18:40:02

The media built up UKIP over the last couple of years (before it had an MP). They never did the same with other smaller parties such as the Greens. Farage and UKIP have done very well promotion wise from the media.

They idea that "Remain" gets more or favorable coverage is a fallacy. The Sun (largest selling tabloid) is Brexit, as is The Daily Mail (millions of hits on its website). Richard Desmond is a supporter of UKIP, owns The Daily Express.

lljkk Mon 23-May-16 19:10:38

Maybe the number of articles represent the dominant feeling journalists (also people) have about which way is best to vote?

GhostofFrankGrimes Mon 23-May-16 19:33:40

No. The media view tends to reflect that of the owners e.g. Murdoch. This is not democratic. The media barons frame the debate and thus the political discourse. This is not healthy or democratic.

lljkk Mon 23-May-16 19:42:49

I think the newspapers tend to reflect what they think readers want to read, actually. That sells the most newspapers. Newspapers are under no obligation to be democratic.

I listen to that American Charlie Loon on R5 many nights so seems to me like the BBC has plenty of euro-leave voices on already.

claig Mon 23-May-16 20:06:53

No, I think the newspapers try to lead their readers. The Daily Mail happens to be in tune with its readers, but the Mail on Sunday is read by the same readers and is not really in tune with them and tends to be more Establishment and tends to be more favourable to the Bremain camp.

Newspapers are used by editors etc to try and influence readers.

There is a theory that UKIP was promoted and boosted by the BBC in order to take votes off the Tories in the South and thereby get their progressive Labour mates in. But it backfired and UKIP took votes off Labour in the North and the Tories got in.

claig Mon 23-May-16 20:13:24

The BBC had Farage on Question Time and all over the place but in true BBC fashion, attacked him etc and had their progressive mate Russell Brand, whom they had boosted by putting n Newsnight twice for long sessions, against Farage.

They knew that real Tories woud like Farage but at the same time made sure that they attacked him in order to turn the progressives against him, or so the theory goes.

claig Mon 23-May-16 20:17:16

Notice that now during this Referendum campaign, Farage is nowhere to be seen on TV because the Establishment fear him and don't want him to get his message out whereas before the election the BBC had him on a lot of the time.

GhostofFrankGrimes Mon 23-May-16 20:21:40

Totally underestimating the power of the media. They may not be democratic but they should have moral and ethical standards (what was Leveson about?). People are reliant on news agencies for information so it is wrong for the media to "skew" debates particularly on important issues like the EU. The amount of "corrections and clarifications" is an indication of the fallacy of a "free and fair press".

Tabloids are all about the "drip drip drip" affect with issues that are useful to their own aims - divide and conquer tactics (benefits, immigration etc). Set that as the narrative and the rest will follow.

GhostofFrankGrimes Mon 23-May-16 20:26:52

Farage was used by the press as a foil to take pressure off the Tories in the run up to the General Election. The run up to the election was all about immigration and running down Miliband. The Tories sat quietly in the background. At the last minute the press dropped Farage replaced him with Tory soundbites and continued the run down of Miliband. Job done.

Given UKIP have one MP they get alot of coverage.

claig Mon 23-May-16 20:39:53

' it is wrong for the media to "skew" debates particularly on important issues like the EU'

No, the media are independent businesses, apart from the BBC, and can take any line they like. The government can't tell them what position to take. It is up to the reader to make up their mind by reading competing views from different media outlets. That maintains freedom because otherwise there would only be a government elite politically correct media line.

'The amount of "corrections and clarifications" is an indication of the fallacy of a "free and fair press". '

No, it shows that the ombusdsman or whatever enforces its rules. It is impossible to get things into print with tight deadlines etc without making some mistakes on facts which can be corrected later on.

'Tabloids are all about the "drip drip drip" affect with issues that are useful to their own aims'

Yes, I agree. But there is nothing to stop Tony Blair and the gang, and the millionaires who back Labour, from setting up their own tabloids.

'Farage was used by the press as a foil to take pressure off the Tories in the run up to the General Election. '

No because 20% of the Tory voters defected and voted UKIP, as I did myself, because they had had enough of Cameron and his merry band of modernisers from Oxbridge.

'The Tories sat quietly in the background. '

No, the Tories were in panic. The polls showed Miliband as being competitive and Tory donors were dismayed at the Etonian Cameron who seemed to have no passion and energy as he flailed in public meetings and we were toold that donors gave him a bollocking and told him to get energetic and that is when he went against character, rolled his sleeves up and said he "was pumped up" etc. Even on election night, the Tories were worried they may not make it and Miliband and the team of progressives were surprised to lose. UKIP won 4 million votes, it took 20% of Tory voters and they will probably never return to the modernisers.

'Given UKIP have one MP they get alot of coverage.'

But that is due to our rigged Oxbridge establishment electoral system. UKIP got 4 million votes and Labour got 8 million votes. UKIP got 1 seat, Labour got around 200. It is an Oxbridge stitchup.

claig Mon 23-May-16 20:54:51

Don't forget that UKIP won the Euro elections despite the media calling UKIP racist at every opportunity and despite rent-a-mobs trying to disrupt UKIP meetings and despite the entire political class of Oxbridge graduates of all parties condemning UKIP and saying that they were "dangerus", "racist", "vile" and all the rest of the politically correct terms they could think of.

GhostofFrankGrimes Mon 23-May-16 21:20:48

Farage is backed by Richard Desmond/Daily Express. No different from Tories/The Sun/Murdoch or indeed, New Labour/The Sun/Murdoch.

He who has the press "wins" the debate. To suggest Farage is some sort of anti establishment figure is laughable.

RortyCrankle Mon 23-May-16 21:38:11

I'm not a UKIP supporter but Jo Coburn was extremely aggressive and rude last time I saw her interviewing Farage on the BBC. The whole place is stuffed full of left wing luvvies and I have that in mind when watching anything political. I've given up watching Question Time. As for giving Russell Brand air time - says it all really.

GhostofFrankGrimes Mon 23-May-16 21:44:53

I'm not a UKIP supporter but Jo Coburn was extremely aggressive and rude last time I saw her interviewing Farage on the BBC. The whole place is stuffed full of left wing luvvies and I have that in mind when watching anything political. I've given up watching Question Time. As for giving Russell Brand air time - says it all really.

Left wing luvvies like Nick Robinson and Laura Kuernsberg? hmm

Question Time usually has a non politician on the panel.

80Kgirl Tue 24-May-16 09:45:47

The Telegraph, The Times and the Evening Standard have seemed pretty balanced to me. I don't read the Daily Mail or the Guardian, so I cannot comment on them. The BBC comes across as pro-remain to me.

I did hear an interview on radio4 this morning with Steve Hilton (who is pro-leave) that I found very compelling. Generally the BBC seems to only talk to pro-leave buffoons (No doubt they would say that the pro-leave side are all buffoons! So not their fault.)

Winterbiscuit Tue 24-May-16 11:49:34

www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/may/12/vote-leave-lambasts-itv-over-eu-debate-between-cameron-and-farage

ITV have chosen to invite Cameron and Farage to their televised debate. This unfortunately perpetuates the myth that leaving the EU is only an option for far-right Ukippers. Unsurprisingly, the official campaign Vote Leave isn't happy that they have been bypassed in this way.

"Describing the move as an “outrage”, a Vote Leave source claimed ITV had admitted to the campaign that the only reason Farage was chosen for the show was to secure the prime minister’s attendance. Cameron is understood to be keen to avoid any “blue on blue” contests with fellow Tories."

"“They are allowing No 10 to choose their opposition,” the source said, adding that the campaign was to meet ITV representatives to discuss the matter on Thursday."

"Accusing the “the establishment” of fixing the debates to shut out the official campaign, a senior Vote Leave source also took aim at one of ITV’s most prominent journalists, adding: “ITV is led by people like Robert Peston who campaigned for Britain to join the euro.""

"“ITV has lied to us in private while secretly stitching up a deal with Cameron to stop Boris Johnson or Michael Gove debating the issues properly.""

"In an apparent threat of retribution down the line, the source added: “ITV has effectively joined the official in campaign and there will be consequences for its future – the people in No 10 won’t be there for long.”"

GhostofFrankGrimes Tue 24-May-16 12:14:03

Farage deserves to be in any TV debate. He is the most visible and vocal leaver.

Perhaps 'vote leave' are worried Farage will be taken to school by the slick PR man Cameron in any debate? Having Johnson on TV would be a personal coup for himself (which is what his involvement in vote Leave boils down to). Farage is not a great orator.

claig Tue 24-May-16 12:35:06

Farage beat Establishment Nick Clegg, Deputy Prime Minister and EU supporter. Farage would take Cameron apart. Unfortunately, it won't be a one-to-one debate. Cameron would not be able to handle that. Instead, it will be Farage in front of audience questions, followed by Cameron in front of audience questions.

Boris is a bluffer and is nowhere near as knowledgeable on EU goings-on as Farage who has spent a great deal of his life in the EU Parliament.

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