Phil Goff says newspapers’ biased coverage of last year’s election certainly didn’t help his result.
He led Labour to its worst-ever defeat, and a Massey University expert says he has grounds to feel he was unfairly treated by four of the country’s biggest newspapers.
Associate Professor Claire Robinson has assessed all the images run in those papers in the last month of the campaign, and found John Key’s picture featured 138 times while Mr Goff featured only 80 times.
“It would have substantially helped to have had favourable coverage and greater coverage, and particularly of photos,” said Mr Goff.
Yeah, you lost because there were not enough photos of you!
If Goff thinks Labour would have won if there were more photos of him – why then did his own campaign team decide not to have photos of him on their billboards and hoardings!!! Their campaign strategy was based on promoting Labour, and not promoting Goff, as they knew he was a negative for many people.
John Key launched the “Kicking the Tyres” book reviewing the 2011 election last night. He referred to the aforementioned study, and commented that he may have had more photos of him, than Phil Goff, but most of his were with John Banks and were not necessarily that helpful
I’ve purchased a copy of the book and am looking forward to reading the various chapters.
UPDATE: Poneke also analyses the study:
Dr Robinson’s research looks flawed because it treats the election campaign as a two-party race between Mr Key and Mr Goff when in fact it was a multi-party contest between National, Labour, the Greens, New Zealand First, ACT, the Maori Party, Peter Dunn and Mana, to name most of the main contenders.
I think that is valid point. We are no longer in FPP where it is National v Labour. The analysis would be better looking at centre-right v centre-left.
It is also flawed because it examines the content of just four newspapers, whereas the election campaign was a cacophony of coverage by newspapers, television stations, radio stations and countless websites, blogs, Facebook pages and Twitter feeds.
I’m not sure that is a flaw, more a limitation.