Political Journalism: New Challenges, New Practices

By Raymond Kuhn; Erik Neveu | Go to book overview

10

Journalism and democracy in contemporary Britain

Brian McNair

The general election of 2001 came at the end of four years of Labour government, concluding a political cycle in which several issues regarding the condition of the political public sphere in Britain remained prominent on the scholarly and journalistic agenda. 1 In relation to press bias, for example, there was once again a huge newspaper ‘deficit’ in the coverage of the campaign. By this I mean that only one daily newspaper (the Daily Telegraph), representing a mere 7.6 per cent of national daily circulation, supported a party (the Conservatives) which for all that its defeat was historic in scale still won 32.7 per cent of the vote. In contrast, Labour’s 42 per cent share of the vote was backed up by editorial endorsements from newspapers representing some 56 per cent of national daily circulation. The fact that the press deficit in 2001, as it had in 1997, benefited a party of the left rather than the right (a reversal of the pattern observed during most of the preceding century) does not change the fact that there was a major discrepancy between the newspapers’ voting preferences and those of their readers.

For some commentators, like Hugo Young of The Guardian, this pattern of editorial bias was a quite fair reflection of the Conservatives’ failure to deserve the support of the people and of serious journalists. Young, indeed, found it odd that the Conservatives had been treated with anything like seriousness in newspaper coverage. ‘In defiance of all the evidence’, he wrote in his column towards the end of the campaign, ‘the worst priced outsiders in modern political history have been given equal and massive time with the most emphatic winners since the 1983 election’ (Young 2001). On the other hand, as I argued in Journalism and Democracy (2000a), even the most ardent opponent of the Conservatives might think it appropriate, and indeed necessary for the health of the democratic process, that a party which even at its electoral nadir still claimed the loyalty of one third of the British people should have its views and policies treated with appropriate care and attention in press coverage. Left-wing critics of pro-Conservative press bias expressed legitimate concern for the health of British democracy when they complained in the 1980s and early 1990s about the treatment

-189-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Political Journalism: New Challenges, New Practices
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 254

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.