May2015 Authors

All posts by Stephen Cushion

The 650 | 25th May 2017

Broadcasters are now talking policy – but the BBC are preoccupied with leadership

Policy issues overwhelmingly dominated the third week of the election campaign, our latest Cardiff University study of TV news found.  Almost 8 in ten items on the evening bulletins were primarily about policy issues, compared to less than half in the previous two weeks of the campaign.

The enhanced policy focus was largely due to both Conservatives and Labour launching their manifestos. While the BBC remained the most policy-driven – with 89.7 per cent of its election coverage about policy – Channel 5 and ITV were not far behind at 86.4 per cent and 82.4 per cent respectively. About 7 in ten Sky and Channel 4 news items were about policy news – a far higher proportion of issues compared to previous weeks of the campaign.

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The 650 | 18th May 2017

The manifestos are out – but don’t expect broadcasters to talk policy

Cardiff University research shows while coverage of parties and leaders is balanced, policy information is limited

After two weeks of election campaigning, which issues have dominated election coverage? Our research finds BBC and ITV evening bulletins have become more focussed on campaign process compared to coverage of the 2015 election, with policy issues pushed down the agenda.

Whereas 64.8 per cent of BBC news items were about policy at this stage of the 2015 campaign, this has fallen by over 10 per cent to 54 per cent in this campaign. Likewise, ITV reported more substantive issues in the opening part of the last campaign, but its coverage has dropped to 48.5% in 2017.

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The 650 | 12th May 2017

The Tories are the big winners in the TV airtime war

With the first week of the election campaign over, who were the big winners in terms of TV coverage? Perhaps unsurprisingly, it was the Conservatives who received the most airtime on the BBC News at Ten in the first week of our Cardiff University election campaign study.

While Labour made up 26.4 per cent share of coverage, the Tories accounted for nearly half – 46.9 per cent – of all airtime for parties on television news. The Liberal Democrats and the SNP both received 10.5 per cent share of time, leaving 4.1 per cent for Ukip and just 1.3 per cent for the Greens.

Across the other UK national bulletins, the difference in airtime granted to Conservatives and Labour was less striking. On Channel 4 and Sky News, for example, Labour made up 47.6 per cent and 44.1 per cent of airtime given to party sources, while Conservatives received 38.9 per cent and 33.1 per cent respectively.

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