The British Media: Ideal in Theory, Flawed in Practice Emelia Haiken and Casey Weiss

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This project examined the role of objectivity in coverage of politics in the British print media. We were interested in exploring another democratic media system in light of criticism in America that by striving for a constitutional objectivity, reporters were instead providing one side of the potential Weapons of Mass Destruction. There was much criticism that this one-sided media led to support for the War in Iraq. Through interviewing over fifteen journalists and professors, attending press events, protests, and conferences, talking to locals, and reading five newspapers a day, we examined how political perspectives appeared in everyday coverage in England. Competition among the hundreds of British newspapers results in a different kind of media where newspapers slant their analysis to attract readers of a specific political orientation. Instead of striving to provide news for the people, the papers battle for support from the government and high sales. Since the newspapers are competing with the high-selling tabloids to increase sales, often, even serious newspapers highlight gossip on the front pages to attract more readers. Although ideal in providing all sides of an event, this system only works if readers are exposed to all newspapers on the political spectrum, which rarely happens.


Larry Caldwell




The Paul K. & Evalyn E. Cook Richter Trusts - International Fellowship

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