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Brexit has had more news coverage in the UK election than Labour’s core agenda – new data

In any election campaign it is the job of the media to scrutinise policies and hold the various parties – and their leaders – to account.

This article first appeared in the Conversation.

But in a bitter and divisive campaign such as the one the UK is living through, scrutiny is often reflected back on the media themselves, particularly television broadcasters such as the BBC and Channel 4, which have both come under fire from both sides of the political fray for editorial decisions they have made during the campaign.

Such has been the criticism directed at the BBC that Fran Unsworth – the broadcaster’s director of news and current affairs wrote to defend the BBC’s coverage of the campaign in the Guardian, suggesting that the corporation’s detractors have ignored the merits of the BBC’s journalism and have focused instead on “a couple of editorial mistakes that they suggest are either emblematic of all our election coverage, or damning evidence of an editorial agenda that favours the Conservative party”.

Unsworth also writes that “BBC impartiality does not rely on a stopwatch” – in other words, opposing sides may not feature in every BBC news article, programme or tweet but “over time achieving fair and proportionate coverage” is the standard.

Providing each major party a broadly equal opportunity to make its argument and covering each with partisan disinterest are two significant and obvious indicators of broadcaster impartiality...

Professor Cristian Vaccari, of Loughborough University's Centre for Research in Communication and Culture (CRCC), and David Smith, a Lecturer in Media and Communication at the University of Leicester, discuss media coverage of the General Election in the Conversation. Read the full article here

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