09
Jan
12

Labour and the Media

Before achieving electoral success at the next general election Labour will have many battles to contend with, one of which is with the media. Over the years the media has become an increasingly influnecial tool in generating supporting, or dislike, for politicians and political parties. It is also apparent that media political bias has become significant in making and braking that support.

It is clear, for example, in America how the right-wing mainstream media attempt to sway the public from anything that is slightly left of centre or that which questions the injustices of Capitalism. For Labour in the UK it is also clear there is a similar bias which will have to be confronted. In relation to Labour this bias against them is evident when comparing the contrast of criticism between the recent Diane Abbott Twitter remark and the Tourette’s remark made by David Cameron. The criticism in the media of the remark made by Abbott far outweighs that of the one made by Cameron yet it is the one made by a Labour MP which saw the greatest media spotlight. Similarly, you can also find evidence of this bias when comparing the differing levels of criticism between the leadership of Ed Miliband and David Cameron. Ed has constantly had his leadership questioned and scrutinised where as Cameron, on the most part, has escaped a lot of criticism for the things he and his Government have done. 

In relation the mainstream media this bias is of course political. The Murdoch press, without need for much explanation, is clearly in support of the Conservative Party and the free-market economy. This is evidenced by the fact Rupert Murdoch had a back door meeting with Cameron at No.10 just days after taking power. It is also shown through the fact that Labour leaders,from Michael Foot to Gordon Brown, have all suffered sustained attacks from this part of the media; all in an attempt to undermine their credibility and to sway support away from them.

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Overall it can be seen that the media may pose as a significant barrier to electoral success for Labour as it can make and brake support for politicians and political parties. Ed Miliband’s stance against the Murdoch press in the hacking scandal may stand as a sign that this is a battle he is not scared to take on. Whatever the result at the next general election it is clear that the media will play a significant part in that outcome.

JW

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