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Newspapers, impartiality and television news: intermedia agenda-setting during the 2015 uk general election campaign

Cushion, Stephen ORCID:, Kilby, Allaina, Thomas, Richard, Morani, Marina ORCID: and Sambrook, Richard Jeremy 2018. Newspapers, impartiality and television news: intermedia agenda-setting during the 2015 uk general election campaign. Journalism Studies 19 (2) , pp. 162-181. 10.1080/1461670X.2016.1171163

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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.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Journalism, Media and Culture
Subjects: J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe) > JN101 Great Britain
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1990 Broadcasting
Publisher: Taylor & Francis (Routledge): SSH Titles
ISSN: 1461-670X
Funders: Economic and Social Research Council
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 5 April 2016
Date of Acceptance: 24 March 2016
Last Modified: 05 May 2023 19:14

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