The sad state of press bias
Most people form their views from the media. Unfortunately for the electorate, the media is bogged down with their own biases, making reliable information hard to come by. British papers exaggerate, demonise, and fan the flames of hot button issues. One common cry is the harsh way the media treats Mr Corbyn, with the biased BBC and Murdoch press working tirelessly to discredit him. As this blog has discussed in the past, Mr Corbyn isn’t entirely blameless in the failure to reach out to voters. As Professor Steven Fielding of the University of Nottingham pointed out in Left Foot Forward, a left-leaning political blog, the electoral strategy of Mr Corbyn is backwards.
That doesn’t make the claim of media bias untrue. Ed Miliband knew the feeling of the media’s sharp tongue well. There has almost always been more papers which support the Tories in circulation than support Labour. This was true in 1945, where just over half supported the Tories, and 35% of papers in circulation backed Labour. And it’s true today. There was a marked shift against Labour since 1974, it swung in favour of Labour under Tony Blair, and swung back against Labour in 2010 (only 15% of the papers in circulation backed Gordon Brown versus the 71% that backed David Cameron). Continue reading