Newspapers, Impartiality and Television News.

Stephen Cushion, Allaina Kilby, Richard Thomas, Marina Morani, Richard Sambrook

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    62 Citations (Scopus)


    Drawing on a content analysis of television news and newspapers during the 2015 UK General Election along with semi-structured interviews with the heads and/or senior editors of news or politics from each broadcaster examined, we explore the intermedia agenda-setting influence of the national press during the campaign. Overall, we found similar policy-orientated agendas, with more stories emanating from right-wing newspapers and moments when front-page splashes dominated television news coverage. Many broadcasters were editorially comfortable with covering stories originating from newspapers if further context was supplied. Our findings do not point towards any deliberate political bias among broadcasters. We suggest instead that a range of structural constraints and professional routines encouraged broadcasters to feed off stories that were more likely to be supplied by right-leaning newspapers. Since news values are not politically neutral, we argue that if journalists or editors routinely rely on newspapers to help shape the political agenda it compromises their ability to make impartial judgements about news selection. Combining quantitative and qualitative analysis, we conclude, could help to better understand the editorial processes behind the selection of news and to more carefully interpret intermedia agenda-setting than large N studies can supply.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalJournalism Studies
    Publication statusPublished - 28 Apr 2016


    • Content analysis
    • elections
    • impartiality
    • intermedia agenda-setting
    • interviews
    • newspapers
    • television news


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