Cardiff University | Prifysgol Caerdydd ORCA
Online Research @ Cardiff 
WelshClear Cookie - decide language by browser settings

Interpreting the media logic behind editorial decisions: Television News Coverage of the 2015 U.K. General Election Campaign

Cushion, Stephen ORCID:, Thomas, Richard, Kilby, Allaina, Morani, Marina ORCID: and Sambrook, Richard Jeremy 2016. Interpreting the media logic behind editorial decisions: Television News Coverage of the 2015 U.K. General Election Campaign. International Journal of Press/Politics 21 (4) , pp. 472-489. 10.1177/1940161216664726

[thumbnail of The International Journal of Press-Politics-2016-Cushion-472-89.pdf]
PDF - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (418kB) | Preview


This article enters into debates about media logic in political coverage by way of a case study of the 2015 U.K. General Election. We quantitatively and qualitatively examine two dominant themes of coverage—news about campaign rallies and horse-race reporting—as both are widely seen in political communication scholarship as symptomatic of a media logic. We draw on a content analysis of BBC, ITV, Sky News, Channel 4, and Channel 5 U.K. national television newscasts and semi-structured interviews with their heads of news and/or senior editors to help interpret how far a media logic was the editorial driving force behind coverage. At face value, our content analysis appears to support the media logic thesis, with all broadcasters—in particular commercial television newscasts—covering more process than policy issues. But our case study questions the antecedents of media logic and shines a light on a political logic that may have remained in the dark in large-scale content analysis studies. In following a political logic, we argue that this promoted the horse-race narrative, and naturalized the parties’ highly stage-managed rallies and walkabouts

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Journalism, Media and Culture
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1990 Broadcasting
Uncontrolled Keywords: journalism, television news, news production, opinion polls, political parties, election campaign
Publisher: SAGE Publications
ISSN: 1940-1612
Funders: ESRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 18 July 2016
Date of Acceptance: 3 July 2016
Last Modified: 25 Nov 2022 16:40

Citation Data

Cited 12 times in Scopus. View in Scopus. Powered By Scopus® Data

Actions (repository staff only)

Edit Item Edit Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics