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Media Coverage of 2008 NZ Election Campaign

Which New Zealand political party has had the most positive media coverage during the 2008 election campaign? Attached are the results of an assessment by University of Canterbury political scientist Babak Bahador.

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New Zealand Media Coverage of the 2008 Election Study - Preliminary Results

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Section 1: The Parties
1.1 Media Coverage of Leading Parties
Labour led National 37% to 35% in media coverage devoted to parties
• Maori Party led Greens 9% to 8% amongst smaller parties

1.2 Tone of Party Media Coverage
National received the most negative coverage at 43% of their total coverage, followed by Labour at 35%
• Green Party received the most positive media coverage at 32% of their total coverage, followed by the Maori Party at 29%
• Labour’s positive media coverage was third, while National’s was seventh out the top eight parties
• National had 24% more negative coverage than positive, while Labour had 7% more negative than positive coverage. Green and Maori Parties received the greatest net positive coverage at +13% each

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Section 2: The Party Leaders
2.1 Media Coverage of Party Leaders
John Key received the greatest media coverage amongst party leaders at 43%, followed by Helen Clark at 27% and Winston Peters at 17%
• Except for Winston Peters, all other small party leaders received a combined coverage of 13%

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2.2 Tone of Party Leaders Media Coverage
Winston Peters and John Key received the most negative coverage amongst party leaders at 38% of their total media coverage each
• Jim Anderton received the largest percentage of positive coverage at 37% of his total media coverage, followed by Helen Clark at 29%
• John Key received 13% more negative coverage than positive, while Helen Clark had 1% more negative coverage than positive

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[New Zealand Media Coverage of the 2008 Election Study - Preliminary Results]

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