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Tue Feb 9, 2016, 08:55 AM

British media 'most right-wing' in Europe, YouGov survey finds

The British press is regarded as the most "right-wing" and "biased" in Europe, according to new research by YouGov.

The company polled people from seven major European nations to find out how they perceived the press in their own countries. They found that 26 per cent of Britons viewed their newspapers, TV and radio as "too right-wing", more than in any of the other nations surveyed.

By contrast, only 17 per cent of British respondents felt their media was "too left-wing". The other countries in the survey were France, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland.

Respondents to the survey were asked whether they felt their country's media coverage of five key issues was too left-wing, too right-wing, or balanced. The five policy areas analysed were immigration, housing, health, economics and crime.

...

A mere 18 per cent of Britons felt that the media was reasonable in its presentation of the refugee crisis, with 29 per cent feeling the media was too right-wing when dealing with questions of immigration.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/british-media-is-the-most-right-wing-in-europe-yougov-finds-a6859266.html


The YouGov poll results are here (sampled late January 2016): https://yougov.co.uk/news/2016/02/07/british-press-most-right-wing-europe/

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Reply British media 'most right-wing' in Europe, YouGov survey finds (Original post)
Denzil_DC Feb 2016 OP
LeftishBrit Feb 2016 #1
Denzil_DC Feb 2016 #2
muriel_volestrangler Feb 2016 #3
Denzil_DC Feb 2016 #4
muriel_volestrangler Feb 2016 #5
Denzil_DC Feb 2016 #6
LeftishBrit Feb 2016 #7

Response to Denzil_DC (Original post)

Tue Feb 9, 2016, 10:25 AM

1. Not remotely surprised

Only surprising thing is that at least some people recognize that the media is RW, and don't just assume that it's accurate!

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Response to LeftishBrit (Reply #1)

Tue Feb 9, 2016, 12:39 PM

2. Yeah, beyond the headline, there's quite a few ways to interpret this.

Beyond the limits of the methodology of a snap poll of around 1,000 people each in only a few countries in Europe (try explaining that in a headline, scare quotes or no), it's still a minority of people in the UK who perceive the slant of the media as right-wing, just a bigger minority than in the rest of the sample.

So the more complacent media would no doubt conclude they're getting it about right and reflecting majority public opinion, rather than trying, for whatever reasons, to shape it. Not that this is necessarily a deciding factor in what they cover and how they cover it, of course.

All the outlets have their own agendas, more or less well defined, by no means least what gets hands in pockets, eyes on pages and clicks on websites. No wonder so many aim for the amygdala. And you don't have to look far on DU to see that all too often, it works ...

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Response to Denzil_DC (Original post)

Tue Feb 9, 2016, 03:43 PM

3. Except that Finland's media was actually scored as more right wing

But YouGov, and the Independent, have just pretended that isn't in the survey, in their headlines.

https://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/n2brop7n28/Eurotrack_January_MediaRepresentation_Website.pdf

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #3)

Tue Feb 9, 2016, 05:41 PM

4. I'm not sure who I'd root for in that competition, but ...

from the YouGov website:




Finland's press is seen as having similar levels of right-wing bias ...


It's not scaled properly, but looks like we're all-rounders and squeak it across the board.

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Response to Denzil_DC (Reply #4)

Tue Feb 9, 2016, 05:48 PM

5. I added up the net numbers for each country in the PDF

Finland is +49 over the 5 categories for 'right wing', Britain +47. That's within the margin of error, so you can call it equal, but you can't paint it as Britain's media being seen as more right wing as Finland's. You shouldn't have to dig into the article to find they had an incomplete headline.

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #5)

Tue Feb 9, 2016, 07:12 PM

6. Depends how you slice it.

By my reckoning, it adds up like this:

Health
UK Too RW 26
UK Too LW 18
RW-LW = 8

Finland Too RW 23
Finland Too LW 9
RW-LW = 14

Refugees and immigration
UK Too RW 29
UK Too LW 24
RW-LW = 5

Finland Too RW 20
Finland Too LW 20
RW-LW = 0

Crime
UK Too RW 23
UK Too LW 15
RW-LW = 8

Finland Too RW 17
Finland Too LW 14
RW-LW = 3

The economy
UK Too RW 27
UK Too LW 12
RW-LW = 15

Finland Too RW 31
Finland Too LW 13
RW-LW = 18

Housing
UK Too RW 26
UK Too LW 15
RW-LW = 11

Finland Too RW 23
Finland Too LW 9
RW-LW = 14

Totals
UK 8+5+8+15+11 = 47
Finland 14+0+3+18+14 = 49

So your net numbers are right, though these totals do reasonably accurately reflect the bars in the graphic above (which is from the YouGov report, not the Independent article), so it could be argued that people in the UK perceive a RW bias across a wider spread of issues than those in Finland.

In fact, that's what the YouGov report seems to say - "Once the percentages for the media being biased to the left are subtracted, Britain's media is viewed as having a right-wing bias in all five areas ..." - rather than making claims about the absolute measure of perception of RWness.

But that's not what the Independent article says. What it does say in its second paragraph is: "They found that 26 per cent of Britons viewed their newspapers, TV and radio as 'too right-wing', more than in any of the other nations surveyed."

And yes, if you just add up the "Too RW" figures (and ignore the "Too LW" ones) you get 26.2%. If you do the same for Finland, you get 22.8%. Which I guess gives them (and YouGov) their headline, FWIW.

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Response to Denzil_DC (Original post)

Wed Feb 10, 2016, 05:04 PM

7. The problems in interpreting this are of course...

(1) It depends on people's perceptions. And this will in turn depend on how right or left wing they themselves are.

(2) Related to the above: people in different countries may differ in political attitudes, which may influence their perceptions of their media. For example, it's my impression that Scandinavians tend to be in most respects to the economic and social left of most other Europaeans, while being at least as right-wing as the rest on the subject of immigration. Membership of the EU as such is much more of a political issue in the UK than in many other countries. Etc.

(3) Mostly people will not be aware of the media in other countries (or in many cases even able to understand media in other languages), so they will not be able to make direct comparisons.

(4) It depends on what media people are thinking of. Tabloids? Broadsheets? TV?


Having said all this, I have no doubt that much of the British press is HORRIBLY right-wing.

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