Media Centre

Press releases

TV broadcasters more balanced in EU Referendum debate

The latest report by Loughborough University finds TV broadcasters are providing a more balanced view in their reporting of the EU Referendum debate compared to the press.

The research team found that the partisanship of the press significantly affects who they report and who they quote, whereas broadcast media strive to offer more parity in their reporting.

Table compares the amount of news access competing camps have had, measured by the amount of direct quotation they were allocated in coverage. For TV news this was measured by seconds of direct speaking time, for the press it was measured by the number of words in direct quotations.

However, when it comes to what issues around the referendum are covered, both broadcast and the press have focussed on immigration and the economy.

The other key finding from the new report is that Labour has finally joined the debate in earnest, with the party and its representatives gaining 22% of media appearances compared to 10% the week before*.

For the first time Jeremy Corbyn has entered the top five of the most frequently reported individuals, coming third behind Boris Johnson and David Cameron. Last week he was in seventh place.

‘Top Ten’ by frequency of appearance (10 – 15 June)


Campaigner (Party/position)


Rank previous week


Boris Johnson (Con OUT)




David Cameron (Con IN)




Jeremy Corbyn (Lab IN)




George Osborne (Con IN)




Gordon Brown (Lab IN)




Priti Patel (Con OUT)




Nigel Farage (UKIP OUT)




Iain Duncan Smith (Con OUT)




Michael Gove (Con OUT)




Amber Rudd (Con IN)




Speaking about the latest repost, co-author Professor David Deacon said:

“The findings from our latest report demonstrate how partisan positioning in the press has manifested itself in three significant ways: which news angles are prioritised; the relative prominence of the competing campaigns; and the extent to which they are directly quoted. Pro-IN papers have given more space to pro-IN advocates and arguments, just as pro-OUT papers give more space to their pro-OUT equivalents.

“But the analysis also demonstrates how television news coverage differs from partisan press coverage. The three measures show that TV news has orientated slightly more towards the IN campaign, but these differences are negligible compared with those found for the pro-IN and pro-OUT press.”

The full report can be read here. Further information about the analysis can be found here.

*Please note the latest report is based on data collected before the tragic murder of Jo Cox MP

Notes for editors

Press release reference number: PR 16/91

About the Report
The following news outlets (weekdays only) were analysed for the report:

Television: Channel 4 News (7pm), Channel 5 News Tonight (6.30pm), BBC1 News at 10, ITV1 News at 10, Sky News 8-8.30pm.

Press: The Guardian, Times, Daily Telegraph, Financial Times, Daily Mail, Daily Express, Mirror, Sun, Star and the I.

Visit the CRCC website for more information.

Loughborough University is equipped with a live in-house broadcast unit via the Globelynx network. To arrange an interview with one of our experts please contact the press office on 01509 223491. Bookings can be made online via

About Loughborough University 
Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It has been awarded five stars in the independent QS Stars university rating scheme, putting it among the best universities in the world, and was named the best in the country for its student experience in the 2016 THE Student Experience Survey. Loughborough was ranked 4th in the Guardian University League Table 2017 and 7th in The UK Complete University Guide 2017 and was also named University of the Year in the In the What Uni Student Choice Awards 2015.

Loughborough is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in the Times Higher Education’s ‘table of tables’ and is in the top 10 in England for research intensity. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, Loughborough has been awarded seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

In September 2015 the University opened an additional academic campus in London’s new innovation quarter. Loughborough University London, based on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, offers postgraduate and executive-level education, as well as research and enterprise opportunities.

Related expert

Professor David Deacon



Amanda Overend

PR Manager

Telephone: 01509 228697

PR team

Telephone: 01509 222224

Media training resources for Loughborough University staff