Interpreting UKIP's "Earthquake" in British Politics: UK Television News Coverage of the 2009 and 2014EI Election Campaigns.

Stephen Cushion, Richard Thomas, Oliver Ellis

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    UK broadcasters came under fire for the amount of airtime UKIP and its leader Nigel Farage received after the party won the most votes in the 2014 EU election. Our content analysis of television news during the 2009 and 2014 campaigns found little bias in terms of soundbites, but in the more recent election Farage visually appeared in coverage to a greater degree than other party leaders. Moreover, two core UKIP policies—being in or out of Europe and immigration—dominated coverage in 2014. We suggest the ‘UKIP factor’ and the media's fascination with Nigel Farage help explain why the 2014 campaign was more visible on television news than was the case in 2009 and was largely reported through a Westminster prism. Although television news bulletins attempt to impartially report elections, the 2014 campaign agenda was largely contested on UKIP's ideological terrain and the party's electoral fortunes.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)314-322
    JournalPolitical Quarterly
    Volume86
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2015

    Keywords

    • Election
    • political bias
    • campaigning
    • television news
    • content analysis
    • UKIP

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