Final Results of the 2008 Election Media Study

I blogged on the 6th of November some fascinating findings from the preliminary results of an academic study of coverage of the 2008 election.

The study is based on an analysis of the leading New Zealand newspapers and television news programmes (TV1 and TV3 evening news) over an eight-week time period. The final results are uploaded here as a pdf – new-zealands-media-coverage-of-the-2008-election-study-final-results

The results:

Overall Media coverage:

Labour 38%, National 34%, Maori 8%, Greens 7%, NZF 6%, ACT 4%, UFNZ 2% and Progressive 1%

Negative Media Coverage

  1. National 38%
  2. NZ First 37%
  3. Labour 36%
  4. Progressive 31%
  5. ACT 26%
  6. United Future 21%
  7. Greens 18%
  8. Maori 17%

So National had a higher proportion of negative stories than NZ First!

Net Positive less Negative Coverage

  1. Greens +14%
  2. Maori +13%
  3. United Future +1%
  4. ACT -2%
  5. Labour – 10%
  6. Progressive – 12%
  7. National – 16%
  8. NZ First – 16%

This suggests to me the Greens and Maori Party were not held to the same level of scrutiny as other parties.

What I found interesting was the further breakdown that found news stories were more negative on National, but analysis stories more negative on Labour.

They also compared total media coverage to the result a party got at the election. The difference between the two was:

  1. Maori +6%
  2. Labour +4%
  3. NZ First +3%
  4. United Future +2%
  5. Greens +1%
  6. Progressive 0%
  7. ACT -0%
  8. National – 11%

Then we have the tone of media coverage of the leaders. And the net positive over negative was:

  1. Anderton +14%
  2. Turia/Sharples +9%
  3. Dunne +5%
  4. Clark +3%
  5. Fitzsimons/Norman -4%
  6. Key – 7%
  7. Hide – 15%
  8. Peters -19%

In the preliminary report, Key and Hide had more net negative coverage than Winston. The re-emergence of the Owen Glenn affair obviously resulted in a change for the last two weeks.

A breakdown by media, finds that Key got much more negative coverage on TV than Helen Clark.

In terms of issues, the major ones were:

  • Economy 28%
  • Law & Order 10%
  • Tax 9%
  • Maori Issues 7%
  • Education 7%
  • Immigration 6%
  • Health 6%
  • KiwiSaver/Super 6%

A very interesting, easy to read report.

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