Reporting different second order elections: A comparative analysis of the 2009 and 2013 local and EU elections on public and commercial UK commercial news bulletins.

Stephen Cushion, Richard Thomas

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    Drawing on a systematic content analysis, this article examines how far television news bulletins with different levels of public service obligations reported the EU and local elections in 2009 and the local elections in 2013. The aim is to compare coverage on the main evening terrestrial bulletins in the United Kingdom (the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5) during different types of second order campaigns and according to their regulatory responsibilities. Although UK citizens appear to value local above EU elections, the latter campaign was more extensively reported than the former on all broadcasters, with politicians sourced differently. Most striking was the market deficit of second order election news, notably Channel 5 – the broadcaster with the lightest public service obligations – containing no policy related stories. It was left to the BBC – the broadcaster with the strongest public service commitments – to deliver the most comprehensive and policy-orientated coverage.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)164-183
    JournalBritish Politics
    Volume11
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 11 May 2015

    Keywords

    • Second-order elections
    • media content analysis
    • UK broadcasting
    • public sphere

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