Richard Broughton Profile picture
Aug 23, 2018 19 tweets 5 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
Thread: How are UK online news outlets covering #Brexit in 2018? An analysis, with data and charts!

Part 2: **Cabinet vs Shadow Cabinet**

#Labour #Conservatives

Again, usual spiel on being conducted in personal capacity
I’ll start off with saying that this really isn’t looking great for the Shadow Cabinet… So for the faint of heart or easily enraged, look away now. 1/
Across ~2000 news headlines on #Brexit since Jan 18, there were 463 references to Conservative Cabinet ministers, and just 48 for their Shadow counterparts.

In other words, 91% of news headline references to Cabinet-level MPs were to Government politicians. 2/
Boris Johnson alone achieved as many #Brexit headlines as the *entire* Shadow Cabinet combined… As did the combination of the duo of David Davis and Philip Hammond. 3/
So how does this break down across outlets. Well, because the Shadow Cabinet figures are so low, it’s difficult to see, so I’ve calculated each as a proportion of their respective totals
The Sun and Mirror account for over half of all Shadow Cabinet headlines, while the distribution across news sites for Cabinet member-led stories is more balanced, with some skews relative to Shadow Cabinet references in the Telegraph and Mail. 5/
So maybe it’s better for the Shadow Cabinet in the body text of these articles? Maybe they’re not creating the news, but at least they’re responding?

Yeah, so about that… 6/
In the body text of 1300 #Brexit articles, there were nearly 2500 Cabinet Minister references (with duplicate occurrences for the same minister removed). There were 364 references to Shadow Cabinet members.

The ratio is better! By four percentage points… 7/
When we look at the leading contributors for coverage on both sides, unsurprisingly, the party leaders are at the top, but the gulf is huge. Theresa May is referenced in nearly 70% of items, relative to Jeremy Corbyn’s 16%. 8/
Boris Johnson and David Davis are on equivalent levels to the entire Shadow Cabinet in terms of unique articles referencing them, while Philip Hammond is on par with the Shadow Cabinet minus Jeremy Corbyn. 9/
Clearly right wing media bias skewing this, right? Well… 10/
If we look at the Cabinet, there are some clear trends across news outlets. The BBC, Guardian and Buzzfeed are less likely to reference Theresa May, compared to the Mail and Sun – but still cite her in over half of items. 11/
The Mail generally cites multiple Cabinet members in many of its items, but particularly favours Boris Johnson. 12/
When we examine Shadow Cabinet references, an interesting trend emerges. The Mail is far more likely than any other source to reference Jeremy Corbyn, but the same is not true for the rest of the Shadow Cabinet. 13/
But even among left-leaning media, Brexit coverage of the Shadow Cabinet is much lower than their Conservative counterparts. 17% of the Guardian’s Brexit articles mention Corbyn – but this is still lower than Theresa May, Boris Johnson and David Davis. 14/
Keir Starmer beats only Michael Gove and only in Buzzfeed’s coverage. John McDonnell loses to all of the Conservative ‘big 6’. 15/
Basically, the Shadow Cabinet aren’t even in the #Brexit debate.

Next time - Backbenchers! How do each party's backbenchers compare to the frontbench on #Brexit media coverage.

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More from @Richard_Ampere

Sep 2, 2018
Thread: How are UK online news outlets covering #Brexit in 2018? More analysis, with more data and charts!

Part 5: **Balance in Brexit reporting**

Which outlets are more positive about #Brexit, and which are more negative?
Running the numbers, it seems that the BBC's articles are most likely to skew positive about Brexit, while the Independent is the most negative.

In the middle, the Guardian and the Mail (the latter possibly due to MoS vs DM stances).
So, how did I reach this conclusion? Readers of previous threads will know that I’ve been analysing the headlines of 2,000 Brexit articles and body text of 1300 items published since Jan 2018.
Read 21 tweets
Aug 30, 2018
Thread: How are UK online news outlets covering #Brexit in 2018? More analysis, with more data and charts!

Part 4: **Is news outlets’ focus on abstract concepts a reason voter opinions are slow to shift?**

(AKA ‘Who cares about Brexit’s impact on the media industry anyway’)
I also did an analytical piece on whether it was plausible that overspending swung the EU referendum result – if you’re interested, it’s here:

TLDR – the answer is “it’s certainly possible”
Read 21 tweets
Aug 24, 2018
Thread: How are UK online news outlets covering #Brexit in 2018? An analysis, with data and charts!

Part 3: Who’s outperforming the Shadow Cabinet in terms of influencing the #Brexit debate?

Answer: A small handful of Conservative & Labour Backbench MPs...

For previous pieces (and methodology), see:

DExEU vs Shadow DExEU: and

Cabinet vs Shadow Cabinet:
So in yesterday's analysis, we saw how the Labour Frontbench had failed to drive column inches across online news outlets. Today, I look at how the Backbenchers and @LibDems are influencing the #Brexit debate.
Read 24 tweets
Aug 22, 2018
Thread: How are UK online news outlets covering #Brexit in 2018? An analysis, with data and charts!

Round 1: **DExEU vs Shadow DExEU**

Like the piece on referendum overspend, all conducted in a personal capacity. I mean, how else would I spend my weekends and evenings...

This is intended to be the first of a selection of pieces of analysis quantifying different aspects of #Brexit coverage in UK news media, so I’ll be covering different angles in future threads.

See appendix for methodology. 2/
Firstly, looking at 2000 #Brexit news headlines from 9 news outlets since Jan 18, I’ve searched for each of the current and previous @Conservatives DExEU ministers and their @UKLabour shadow counterparts. 3/
Read 16 tweets
Aug 1, 2018
Could the Vote Leave overspend have swung the EU referendum?
- A thread combining #Brexit and #AdvertisingEffectiveness analysis – conducted in a personal capacity.

Here goes…
Thanks to the work of journalists like @carolecadwalla , the @CommonsCMS Fake News investigation and @ElectoralCommUK, we now have more insight into the advertising metrics from campaigns run on Facebook during the EU referendum on behalf of Vote Leave
The @ElectoralCommUK found that Vote Leave “worked to a common plan” with BeLeave and thus exceeded its statutory spending limit -…
Read 23 tweets

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