The British press “systematically undermined” Jeremy Corbyn with an onslaught of negative media coverage in his first week as Labour leader, new research has claimed.
The Media Reform Coalition analysed nearly 500 pieces across eight national newspapers, including The Sun, The Times, Guardian and Daily Mail, and found 60% of their articles were ‘negative’, meaning they were openly hostile or expressed animosity or ridicule.
Out of the 494 articles across the papers during Corbyn’s first seven days at leader, 60% (296 articles) were negative, with only 13% positive stories (65 articles) and 27% taking a “neutral” stance (133 articles), the report says.
In the days after he was selected, Corbyn was criticised for his controversial shadow cabinet appointments, policies that were at odds with the views of many of the party’s leading figures, his decision not to sing the national anthem and his poor relationship with the media after pulling out of an interview on the Andrew Marr show.
The Sun, its sister paper The Sun on Sunday, and The Daily Mail published the highest ratio of ‘negative’ stories about the new leader, according to the report, with 91% of each newspaper’s coverage considered critical.
The Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph follow with 83% of its coverage deemed negative, while 71% of stories published about Corbyn in The Times and Sunday Times were ‘negative’.
By contrast, just 11% of articles in the Guardian newspaper were ‘negative’.
News articles, in which the media ostensibly do not editorialise, were actually the most critical of Corbyn, the report says.
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