British Media ‘Most Right-Wing and Biased’ in Europe – Poll
British Media ‘Most Right-Wing and Biased’ in Europe – Poll © AFP 2016/ Miguel Medina
17:55 08.02.2016Get short URL
Concerns over the economy, fears about refugees and stories on housing – it seems many are skeptical about press coverage in the UK with the British media regarded as the most “right-wing” and “biased” in Europe, according to a new poll.
The YouGov poll, which surveyed people from seven different countries about the state of their own media, found that 26 percent of Britons thought their newspapers, radio and television were “too right-wing” — a higher rate than in the other countries.
Only 17 percent of respondents in Britain thought media coverage was “too left-wing”, while 27 percent thought the press reported issues in “about the right balance”.
Respondents were asked for their opinions on British media coverage in five areas — immigration, housing, health, economics and crime.
The issue of refugees and immigration — which has been a topic of hot discussion with the Brexit debate and migrant crisis — was judged to have been the most biased, with 29 percent of people saying the media was too right-wing in its coverage, 24 percent arguing that it was too left-wing, while only 18 percent of people thought the issue was reported on evenly.
Concerns Over Right-Left Bias
The poll follows criticism and accusations from all sides of the political spectrum over media reporting in Britain.
Research from civil society group the Media Reform Coalition recently found that the British press had “systemically undermined” Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn with an onslaught of negative press during his first week as party leader.
Backing up the poll findings that the media contains a right-wing bias, the study found that out of 500 stories from major daily newspapers, 60 percent were negative towards Mr Corbyn, which under the guidelines meant they were hostile to the Labour leader, who has campaigned on an anti-austerity platform.
Furthermore, the findings revealed only 13 percent of the stories were positive.
This comes as Corbyn flagged plans to shake-up the country’s media ownership laws, with many arguing that laws should prohibit large media groups from owning too many organizations within one country as part of an attempt to diverse media coverage.
However, others have countered the reports of right-wing bias, arguing that the media is blatantly left-wing over certain issues.
UKIP leader Nigel Farage was left angry after he was booed by the audience during a BBC Question Time program last year for his views on immigration, leading him to say that it was a “remarkable audience even by the left-wing standards of the BBC.”
Out of the other countries questioned in the YouGov poll, only Finnish respondents thought their media had a similar right-wing bias to Britain.
Danish respondents thought their media was the most balanced, while people on France, Germany and Sweden thought their media contained left-wing bias in the five categories.