Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Election 2013: The Newspapers

During the election campaign, most mornings, the first site I looked at was the Press Display to see what the front pages were like.  Obviously they were mostly awful. But for future reference and for your edification here are the front pages of The Daily Telegraph, Courier Mail, Herald Sun, Advertiser, The Oz and Sunday Version thereof of every day of the campaign when the front page had a story about the election.

Press daily didn’t used to show the front pages of Fairfax pages until a couple weeks ago, so I only have the pages of The SMH and The Age for the last two weeks.

First The Daily Tele:

I make it 10 pro LNP stories, 11 anti-ALP stories, and 1 sort of pro-ALP (the ALP launch which still had a kicker for Rudd in the headline about Abbot “surging)

DT 1DT 2DT 3DT 4DT 5DT 6DT 7DT 8DT 10DT 11DT 12DT 13DT 14DT 15DT 16DT 17DT 18DT 19DT 20DT 21DT 22DT 23DT 24

The Herald Sun had a lot less coverage. Mostly this is because there were less critical seats in Victoria, and also because Essendon dominated the AFL town. I make it 7 pro-LNP sotries, and 3 anti-ALP. 

HS 1HS 2HS 3HS 4HS 5HS 6HS 7HS 8HS 9HS 10HS 11HS 12

The Courier Mail is another story. Like the Daily Telegraph and Sydney, there were lots of seat sin the QLD that the Liberal Party wanted to win. And so too it seems did the Courier Mail want them to be won.

I’ll rate the first as neutral. But from then on it’s 12 anti-ALP, and 2 pro-LNP.

CM 1CM 2CM 3CM 4CM 5CM 6CM 8CM 9CM 10CM 12CM 13CM 14CM 15CM 16CM 17CM 18CM 19CM 20CM 21

The Advertiser, like the Herald Sun was in a state with few seats expected to change hands. So it wasn’t as big an issue. The Tiser was the most balance. It found room for one pro-ALP article (with a slight slap in the headline). Only 2 anti-ALP ones and 5 pro-LNP

Tiser 0Tiser 1Tiser 2Tiser 3Tiser 4Tiser 5Tiser 6Tiser 7Tiser 8Tiser 9Tiser 10

The Sunday Papers were pretty one sided:

8 anti-ALP, 3 pro-LNP (not including the ones the day after the election)


The Oz is tougher to score. Multiple headlines, and often good stories below the fold disguised by misleading headlines:

Oz 1Oz 2Oz 3Oz 4Oz 5Oz 6Oz 7Oz 8Oz 9Oz 10Oz 11Oz 13Oz 14Oz 15Oz W 1Oz 16Oz 17Oz  18Oz 19Oz 20Oz W 2Oz 21Oz 22Oz 23Oz 24Oz 25Oz W 3Oz 26

The Age is also tough. The headlines are much less emotive than the news.corp

Age 1Age 2Age 3Age 4Age 5AGe 6Age 7Age 8Age 9Age 10Age 11

The SMH is much the same as The Age


So there you go. That was the election 2013 from our unbiased media…


Anonymous said...

The thesis, of course, being that people are mindless and will do exactly what newspaper headlines tell them to do?

If yes, you've killed the case for compulsory voting.

Out of interest, I know the headlines weren't there, but why the lack of outrage over those papers recommending Rudd in '07?


Carson 63000 said...

e-girl - it's traditional behaviour for our newspapers to publish an EDITORIAL (note, an editorial, by definition an opinion piece) recommending one party or another at the end of the campaign. Yes, in 2007 Rudd was endorsed by a number of those editorials - even in the Murdoch papers!

But there's a huge difference between an editorial endorsement and literally dozens of screaming front-page headlines, campaigning masked by the flimsiest pretence of being "news", throughout the entire campaign.

Greg Jericho said...

Oh e-girl. Really? In 2007 The Tele and The Oz went hard against Rudd all year and then at the last minute when it was clear he would win their editorial (not put on the front page by the way) recommended Rudd. No one gives a stuff about editorials. I'm talking about the coverage.

And I am not even saying that people do what newspapers tell them to do. Newspapers and journalists are the ones who tell us they are unbiased and objective. So let's judge them by their output.

Anonymous said...

as a newsagent myself I think the News Corp tabloids did play a significant roles shaping the election result with their biased coverage. Readers of the Daily Telegraph tend to be "low information voters" for want of a better description, lots of them swing voters, and the paper has a dominant circulation in Western Sydney.

ian said...

Anon, as a newsagent you would also have been aware of the effect of the headlines on the advertising tablets outside the newsagency. They say the circulation of News Corp papers is too small (less than 200,000) to really have much effect. That is probably the case. But millions of people see the banner headlines as they walk past a newsagent. That's how people are influenced.

han said...


i shamelessly stole your link in last week's blog to Abbott's 2007 Herald article arguing against "mandates" and sent it to the SMH, it will be published in tommorrow's letter page.

Greg Jericho said...

Hi han, no worries steal away!

Good point Ian about the banner headlines. I think it and the front pages builds up a bit of a wallpaper effect. That is people don;t really read the story but they see the continual coverage that things are apparently "bad" and that the Govt has :lost control" etc

Anonymous said...

Where's Col? He still has Rudd, the landslide didn't happen, the West of Boganstan was not lost.

And the Greens didn't die, nor did Wilkie.

VoterBentleigh said...

If the written word was not aimed at informing and influencing the reader, there would be no point writing it. If a reader has only a limited source of information, knowledge and analytical ability with which to analyse what is read, then the influence of the information presented will be greater, since the reader has less intellectual capacity with which to assess the truth of the written piece. Where the reader's critical comprehension and analytical skills are under-developed, due to lack of education or knowledge, the reader is more likely to be influenced.

Just as the average patient accepts the diagnosis of a doctor because most patients have less knowledge in the medical field than the doctor, the reader of a report in a newspaper tends to believe that the journalist is behaving professionally when presenting an account of events and to accept what is said unless they have sufficient knowledge of their own to believe otherwise. Consequently, the journalistic profession have a duty to present news in a fair and ethical manner.

Whether a person is easily influenced by the media or not, this is irrelevant to any argument for or against compulsory voting, which aims to get every citizen to have a say in the way the country is governed. What each registered adult's skills are in assessing the news is irrelevant to their right to have a say and how they come to their voting decision is a matter for each individual voter.

Anonymous said...

Please keep up the good work. From now on I am going to rely on independent blogs. I am so over the news.com / adelaidenow.com.au since they insist on paid subscriptions. The Murdoch greed will end newspapers as we know it. NOT the apathy of the world. So now the letters comments online are skewed towards Public Relations and Property Council orchestrated comments. Fine, they can have it their way. But they are now just a little core of GroupThink individuals. Surely Murdoch makes enough money? Syndicated stories, written once in Canberra are then fed to all his interstate newspapers. Plaigarised stories from mailonline.com appear 2, 3 or 4 days later in the Advertiser as abridged versions of the original. The content is not worth paying for. And people in Adelaide only get sanitized news. Bad Move Murdoch. Keep up your Good work Grog's Gamut. Blogs are going to be a major source of news in the future.

Anonymous said...

If the Advertiser in South Australia is so impartial (not) why did it keep running so many stories in Adelaide on "poor little Kate Ellis may lose". All those puff pieces must have helped Kate get a few votes. So how impartial and even handed is David Penberthy? Not very much, I would suggest.

Anonymous said...

So many people do not read the local newspaper in Adelaide any more that I think in the future that only TV "journalism/entertainment" features will attempt to tell people what is happening. And that will be an unreliable way to learn more about what is happening.
Because the government does not really want an informed public.Nor a public where ordinary people can vent their spleen. People should be able to comment but the people are being excluded from so many government decisions until it is a fait accompli. Murdoch will not be around to see the people rise up and demand better information available to all people at all levels and participation in real(not fake like now) consultation with the community before decisions are mad. But when the people do start making their voices heard it will be Murdoch who is to blame for ruining newspapers in this state and anywhere else he publishes. It should be free to comment and governments should make it a condition that must be free and available to the public to do so, and anonymously (in every way) if they wish, in newspapers. To deny people that right is to deny democracy. Governments are good at hushing up scandals. Open Press is essential to stop cover-ups.