Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


New evidence of newspaper bias in election coverage

Monday, November 26, 2012

New evidence of newspaper bias in election coverage

New research to be released this evening concludes that four of the country’s top newspapers were biased in their coverage of the last election.

The research by Massey University Associate Professor Claire Robinson finds that the Herald, Herald on Sunday, Dominion Post and Sunday Star-Times all exhibited substantial bias in their selection and use of images during the election campaign, most of it in favour of Prime Minister John Key.

“Labour and Phil Goff have real grounds to feel they were unfairly treated in print during the last election campaign,” Dr Robinson says.

Dr Robinson assessed every image of John Key and Phil Goff published during the election campaign in the four big papers. Mr Key featured 138 times while Mr Goff featured 80 times. Mr Key also dominated the column centimetres, at an almost two to one ratio.

Both Mr Key and Mr Goff received much more positive and neutral coverage than negative coverage from all four papers, but the Herald and Herald on Sunday were generally more positive in their treatment of Mr Key, whilst the Dominion Post and Sunday Star-Times were kinder to Mr Goff.

“My research suggests there could be grounds for a complaint to the New Zealand Press Council that the newspapers breached the principle of fairness and balance in their campaign coverage.

“Traditionally, newspaper editors have judged whether their coverage is balanced based on the number, tone and position of words. But we live in an image-saturated world. In reality, readers absorb headlines, images, graphics and captions, and rarely study every column inch. News media render the world visually as well as verbally. It is time they paid serious attention to the ethics of which images they publish, when and how.

“For politicians, image selection and positioning is likely to become even more important with newspapers such as the new-look compact-format Herald becoming more visually-driven.”

Dr Robinson’s analysis also found a dramatic shift in image selection at the height of the teapot tape saga. “When the news media itself becomes an actor in a political controversy, things get ugly. Picture editors dusted off their most unflattering shots of John Key. In the final days of the campaign none of the papers published a negative image of Phil Goff compared with the early (pre-teapot) period where more than one in three images of Goff were negative.”


ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Tokenism Of New Zealand's Role Against Islamic State

To date, the Opposition has continued to occupy itself with the marginalia of the issue. E.g. whether Key did or didn’t know whether Barack Obama would be present at the US briefing last week on IS, or whether New Zealand’s military involvement is or isn’t already a fait accompli.

It might be better to tackle the issue, head on. Our contribution against IS will be to send SAS forces to train the Iraqis? That’s like offering trainers to General Custer just as the 7th cavalry reached the Little Big Horn.
More>>

 

Parliament Today:

Scoop Business: Shell And Todd Caught Drilling Without Approval

Multi-national oil company Shell’s New Zealand arm and local energy giant Todd Energy have breached the new law governing New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone, the Environmental Protection Authority says in an Oct. 10 document released by the Green Party. More>>

ALSO:

Labour: Tea Breaks 'Gone By Lunch Time'

“How cynical that on the eve of Labour weekend, the National government is pushing through legislation that takes away the statutory right to tea and meal breaks along with collective bargaining protections, and makes vulnerable workers jobs even less secure." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Pharmac, Gough Whitlam And Sleater-Kinney

We’re not at the outset of these negotiations. The outset was six years ago, and negotiators were hoping to have some sort of ‘framework’ deal finished in time for the APEC meeting in a few weeks’ time. These ‘extreme’ positions are what we’ve reached near the intended end of the negotiations… More>>

ALSO:

PM Of Many Hats: Questions, No Answers On Whale Oil

Dr RUSSEL NORMAN (Co-Leader – Green) to the Prime Minister: How many times since November 2008 has he spoken with blogger Cameron Slater on the phone and how many times, if any, has he texted him?
Rt Hon JOHN KEY (Prime Minister): None in my capacity as Prime Minister. More>>

ALSO:

Aussie Investigation Dropped: Call On Minister McCully To Pursue The Case Of Balibo Five

West Papua Action is deeply concerned at the lack of any clear outcome from the Australian Federal Police inquiry into the 1975 deaths of the ‘Balibo Five’ including NZ journalist Gary Cunningham. More>>

ALSO:

'Feed The Kids' Bill: Metiria Turei To Lead Fight On Feeding Hungry Children

Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei is urging all political parties to support the Feed the Kids Bill which she inherited today from Mana leader Hone Harawira. More>>

ALSO:

Parliament Today: State Opening Of Parliament

The House sat at 10.30am on Tuesday before MPs were summoned to hear the Speech from the Throne in the Legislative Council Chamber. More>>

ALSO:

Tertiary Education: Students Doing It Tough As Fees Rise Again

The Government is making it increasingly difficult for Kiwis to gain tertiary education as fees continue to rise and access to student support becomes even more restricted, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. More>>

ALSO:

Housing, Iraq: PM Press Conference – 20 October 2014

Prime Minister John Key met with press today to discuss:
• Housing prices and redevelopment in Auckland
• Discussions with Tony Abbott on the governmental response to ISIS, and New Zealand’s election to the UN Security Council More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news