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National press coverage favoured Brexit 4:1 J

June 29, 2016 11:36 AM
By Mark Pack

That's the conclusion of a detailed study of how the media covered the European referendum, carried out by the Loughborough University Centre for Research in Communication and Culture:

National press coverage was highly polarised, with pro-IN papers emphasising pro-IN campaigners and arguments, and pro-OUT papers emphasising pro-OUT equivalents. In aggregate terms, this produced a 'coverage gap' of 60%: 40% in favour of OUT campaigners. However, when these differences are weighted by circulation, the difference extends to 80%: 20%.

Press Coverage

Blue indicates coverage from papers backing Remain. Red is for papers backing Leave.

It's also striking how little attention was given to the issues that are now getting so much attention:

Many issues that have received considerable media attention following the referendum, received negligible coverage before the vote. For example, consideration of the devolution implications accounted for 0.8% of all coverage and taxation issues were covered even less, accounting for 0.6%. Between Friday 24 June and Monday 27 June, the national press published 198 items mentioning Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty (which triggers the exit process). This represents a daily average of 49.5 items. Between 6 May and 23 June, they published 88 items mentioning Article 50, a daily average of 1.8 items.