Analysing the balance of our Jeremy Corbyn coverage | The Guardian

Look at this – The Guardian has had to respond to attacks from readers who claim it has been too critical of Jeremy Corbyn in its Labour leadership coverage.

Not surprisingly – given this newspaper’s history – the Labour leadership race, and in particular the candidacy of Jeremy Corbyn, has generated powerful feelings among readers, not all in favour of the Guardian’s coverage. “Had enough of your paper,” said the subject line of an email from one reader, who went on to say: “I’ve been a regular reader of the Guardian (Manchester Guardian as was) since 1958. Despite the low point reached in the 60s when you supported the US war in Vietnam for a while, I still continued with it. But your sustained, arrogant, specious and just false reporting of Corbyn’s candidacy is too much. I am not a member or even supporter of the Labour party but your scurrilous coverage has convinced me that your paper no longer lives up to the label. I shall no longer … buy it nor view it online. Goodbye.”

Lost cause or no, I felt it only courteous to reply: “I’m sorry that you are leaving and I will be looking at the Guardian’s coverage of Jeremy Corbyn to test your theory, but I just wondered whether you’d read this [‘I don’t do personal’, 17 June], or this [No wonder Jeremy Corbyn’s opponents are so rattled, 8 July], or this [Jeremy Corbyn has the one Blairesque trait the Blairites don’t get, 20 July].” These were articles that could be described as showing a measure of support for Corbyn. There was also a piece by Seumas Milne with a sympathetic mention for the Labour leadership contender (There’s no reason to accept austerity. It can be defeated, 18 June).

The reader responded, putting me firmly in my place: “Yes, I’ve read the articles you refer to but they are outnumbered some five to one by the negative reports. Comment is perfectly legitimate, but the sneering, supercilious, specious and dismissive contributions masquerading as ‘commentary’ belittle the claims of a ‘quality’ paper.”

In the early days of Corbyn’s charge, the readers rightly got a sniff that on occasions we weren’t taking him seriously enough. That has changed, and there is still much coverage to go before the ballot closes on 10 September.

Considering today’s attack piece, quoting Chris Leslie, are we really to believe that closing comment?

Source: Analysing the balance of our Jeremy Corbyn coverage | Chris Elliott: Open door | Comment is free | The Guardian

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  1. hstorm August 3, 2015 at 1:37 pm - Reply

    I’m sharing this with MediaLens, they’re almost permanently at war with the Guardian.

  2. Rupert Mitchell (@rupert_rrl) August 3, 2015 at 2:20 pm - Reply

    I read all newspapers on line and take most political comments with a large shovel of salt when they actually appear to be prejudiced or destructive. I find it always a good idea to keep my eyes open for comments that could be from people with vested interests. In my eyes there has been no other politician to come anywhere near Jeremy Corbyn for common sense, fairness, and politeness since ANTHONY WEDGWOOD BENN.

  3. James Hunt August 3, 2015 at 6:11 pm - Reply

    That newspaper is clearly completely out of step with its readership. Simply read one of the 20+ anti-Corbyn pieces trotted out in the past week or so and also read the below the line comments.

    Given The Guardian’s long-standing tradition of supporting the Liberals, and then the LibDems, you might be mistaken in thinking that they would more than welcome a correction to the left by Labour as that should enable their actual party to regain support from the centre ground. But instead the onslaught against Corbyn continues virtually unabated except for the infrequent positive (or damning with faint praise) articles.

    One can only conclude that The Guardian is no longer the organisation is once was and its purpose now is to support the neocon establishment whichever party is in power.

  4. Garteth August 3, 2015 at 6:27 pm - Reply

    Don’t agree with the assesment I’m afraid. The guardian has indeed printed numerous positive articles too. Some politician is attacking JC, surely thats newsworthy. Doesn’t mean the guardian has a bias. Its just reporting the statement.

  5. Ian August 3, 2015 at 7:52 pm - Reply

    Those quotes from The Guardian are pretty much what I’d expect: self-serving, spurious tripe and unable to man up to the obviously, blatantly anti Corbyn coverage.

    Have you noticed how butthurt journalists get when subject to criticism? Precious lambs.

    I doubt The Guardian will admit to much wrongdoing, it only goes to show how deluded and self-important journalists usually are, these days. There’s an interview of Noam Chomsky (Manufacturing Consent is a great book) by Andrew Marr (uberlickspittle) on YouTube and the subject of reporting comes up in which Chomsky points out how truth often doesn’t see the light of day and how journalists are chosen for employment, i.e. ones that upset the applecart and speak truth to power never make it in the mainstream.

    Marr assumes this to mean journalists are self-censoring but Chomsky elaborated, “If you didn’t believe what you believe, you wouldn’t be where you are”, that is, if Marr was in any way radical (rather than being the lackey he is, like when he described Tony Blair as being entirely justified in invading Iraq…), he wouldn’t have a nice job at the BBC.

    I believe this is widespread throughout all mainstream media and I believe some do resort to self-censorship too, as well as the ones chosen for their pliant nature,

    Like when one former Sun editor claimed Rupert Murdoch doesn’t decide on any particular editorial line,, he doesn’t need to, the editor knows what line to take or he wouldn’t be in the job.

    Original and ethical thinkers aren’t wanted. Just ask Peter Oborne, ex of The Telegraph.

    • Mike Sivier August 3, 2015 at 8:33 pm - Reply

      As a journalist myself, I can’t say I have noticed that. But then, I do tend to respond in a more robust way than those in the mainstream media…
      Considering my personal circumstances, I have to agree with Mr Chomsky.

      • Ian August 3, 2015 at 8:52 pm - Reply

        Exactly. You probably couldn’t let certain things pass without comment – hence this blog. Imagine if worked for BBC News and knew about the privatisation of the NHS and all the benefit ‘reforms’ related deaths? You try to broadcast that these days and you’d be sent to cover the quarter finals of the Penrith Cumberland wrestling championships on a rainy Wednesday night for BBC Radio Cumbria.

        Can you imagine reporting this like Marr did, for instance?

        (Go to 1:24 for the worst of it)

  6. Brian F Kirkham August 3, 2015 at 10:23 pm - Reply

    I’m getting a really bad sense here – of “What have we done ?”…having achieved the result of letting the tories in the back door, the Liberal Paper of my county – The “Manchester” Guardian is now trying to swing a leadership contest they will be taking NO PART IN…probably to get the best centrist candidate with views of their own in regret, its cost us at least two good candidates – and looks like their media chums will be swinging towards Mr Corbyn – much to the tories delight…evidence…torygraph and sun….

  7. Ian August 4, 2015 at 12:30 am - Reply

    Also, there’s a very good interview with an ex Guardian journalist here that shows how journalism works

  8. mrmarcpc August 4, 2015 at 5:53 pm - Reply

    Get Corbyn on the telly more, the coverage of him should be better, never mind all the whingers who berate him being always on the box, online and in the papers, get him and his supporters better coverage, even out the playing field, get the real news out there, instead of hiding it!

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