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


National Party gaining largest percentage of media coverage

University of Canterbury election study mid-point results show National Party gaining largest percentage of media coverage

The mid-point results of a University of Canterbury study into media coverage of the election show that the National Party received the largest percentage of election coverage, received 40.7 per cent of media coverage compared to the 36.8 per cent of coverage achieved by the Labour Party. The results also show that more of the National Party’s coverage is negative in tone (53.9 per cent) than that achieved by Labour (43.2 per cent).

The study is being conducted by Dr Babak Bahador and MA student and former journalist Katherine Roff from the University of Canterbury’s School of Social and Political Sciences and repeats a similar study undertaken by Dr Bahador during the 2008 general election in New Zealand.

Other key findings are that the Greens dominating coverage achieved by the minor parties attracting 9.7 per cent of the 22.5 per cent of coverage of the minor parties. The Greens also attracted the highest percentage of positive coverage at 51.5 per cent of its total coverage.

Prime Minister John Key achieved the largest percentage of media coverage amongst the party leaders at 48.6 per cent with Labour Party leader Phil Goff attracting 35 per cent of coverage of party leaders. New Zealand First leader Winston Peters attracted the most coverage of minor party leaders achieving 6.5 per cent of the 16.3 per cent of coverage gained by the leaders of minor parties.

The economy attracted the most coverage of all policy areas at 20.7 per cent with social and public services attracting 20.2 per cent of coverage.

The study also analysed media coverage of the referendum on New Zealand’s electoral system which will be held at the same time as the general election. Mid-point results showed that the MMP or Mixed Member Proportional system achieved the most coverage at 53.6 per cent of total coverage, with the FPP or First Past the Post system attracting 16.2 per cent of coverage.

The full results of the study will be released in two weeks on the eve of the general election.

Study methodology:

The findings in this study are based on a content analysis of leading New Zealand daily newspapers (New Zealand Herald, Dominion Post and The Press) and daily television news programmes (TV1 and TV3 evening news). The findings in this report are based on results from the first two weeks of a four-week study. The first two weeks cover the period from Wednesday 26 October 2011 to (and including) Tuesday 8 November 2011.

Over the first two weeks, 355 media stories were analysed. Stories were selected if they met the following criteria:

• Newspapers: From front page, election/politics section or editorial. At least 50 per cent of the content related to the election.
• Television: From first 10 news stories. At least 50 per cent of the content related to the election.

Within each story, references for the following five categories were identified and coded:
1: Parties (e.g. Labour, National), 2: Party Leaders (e.g. Key, Goff), 3: Policy issues (e.g. economy, tax), 4: Non-policy issues (e.g. polls, scandals), 5: Referendum (e.g. MMP). References to these categories formed the “unit of analysis” (UOA) for this study. In total, 11,782 UOA were identified based on the following distribution amongst the different categories:

CategoriesUnits of AnalysisPercentage of Total
Policy Issues2,74223.3%
Non-policy Issues2,76923.5%
Referendum 470 4.0%
Total (N =) 11,782100%

Tone (positive, negative and neutral) was determined based on matching each reference to a media frame or frames. For example, references to party leaders as “desperate for power” or “flip-flopper” were coded as negative frames, while references to party leaders as “experienced” or having “bold ideas” would be coded as positive frames. In total, 117 different frames were identified in this study.



© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Why Herd Immunity Isn’t A Valid Option, And What’s With Our Reluctance To Wear Masks?

Herd immunity has recently bounced back into the headlines as a tool for managing Covid-19, and as a supposed alternative to lockdowns. In the US, a group of scientists was recently brought together in the town of Great Barrington, Massachusetts by a think tank funded by the Koch brothers. The assembled scientists signed the so called Barrington Declaration, which promotes herd immunity as a rational means of re-opening US public schools and the economy at large... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On National Being Shafted By Its Own Creation

As it licks its wounds, let’s hope the National Party can still find time to look back with some pride at what it has achieved in Epsom. The Act Party’s nationwide success on Saturday night has been a tribute to National’s foresight, and to its ... More>>


Green Party: 'Fruitful Discussions ... Further Discussions To Have'

The Green Party says there is a negotiation going on with the Labour Party, but there are more discussions to be had. More>>


Border: No Changes To Border Exemptions After Fishing Crew Test Covid-19 Positive

The cases were detected after routine day three testing but the immigration minister and air commodore agree there's no need to change border exemptions. More>>

PSA: Labour-Led Government Has Mandate For Transformation, Equality And Transparency

The Public Service Association welcomes the progressive electoral landslide New Zealand voters delivered on Saturday, and the union says its members look forward to implementing policies that reduce poverty and inequality, support affordable housing ... More>>


Stats NZ: New Report Shows Significant Changes To New Zealand’s Climate

Climate change is already happening in New Zealand and could have a profound impact on future generations of New Zealanders, a new report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ says. Our atmosphere and climate 2020 , released today, includes analysis ... More>>


Judith Collins: Obese People Must Take Responsibility For 'personal Choices'

National Party leader Judith Collins has described obesity as a weakness and says people should not 'blame systems for personal choices'. More>>

Māori Party: Poll Reveals Tamihere On Cusp Of Historic Māori Movement Election Victory

John Tamihere’s election campaign is on the rise and on track to return the Māori Party to parliament, a new Māori TV poll has revealed. The poll released on 11 October during the seventh and final Māori TV Maori Electoral campaign coverage has Tamihere ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Four-Year Terms Of Parliament, And On How The US Courts Are Dismantling Democracy

Last week, the issue of four-year parliamentary terms surfaced again. Infuriatingly, it is being discussed purely in terms of its convenience for political parties. They’d get so much more time to enact their policies, free of scrutiny or sanction by voters ... More>>





InfoPages News Channels