My Thoughts: The Media Has Too Much Control Over Our Politics

We need to stop the media having so much influence and potential power in our politics. At the 2015 General Election it was quite clear which party most of the newspapers preferred. The press is supposed to be fair, equal and balanced. If there is a disproportional amount of newspapers supporting a certain party then how can we call this fair and balanced?

I set out to investigate the statistics surrounding national newspapers and endorsements. Of the twelve national daily newspapers, six endorsed the Conservatives, three endorsed Labour, and the Lib Dems, UKIP and Workers’ Revolutionary Party gained one endorsement each. So 50% of the national daily newspapers endorsed the Conservatives whilst 25% endorsed Labour. This is hugely disproportional if we take this into account. This also shows a lack of diversity in our press if three quarters of all the daily newspapers backed the two main parties.

However it could be argued that the daily national newspapers have no real effect in terms of seats won since the SNP had no endorsements and still gained 56 seats. However of the eight Scottish newspapers, four of them endorsed the SNP. This still shows that there is inequality in the press. People keep getting fed the same ideas and beliefs. People don’t always see every side of the argument and because of this the outcome of our election is pretty much decided by whoever Rupert Murdoch decides to back.


A lot of the time the press don’t even focus on who has the best policies and prefer to focus on who looks the best whilst eating a bacon sandwich. As Ed Miliband said “If you want this to be a beauty contest or a photo opp contest then I’m not going to win it.” People may laugh at this, but is our politics slowly turning into a beauty contest? How can it be fair that the winner of our general election is basically decided by the media and how they present the party leaders? The media should focus on policies and issues so the electorate can decide who they want to vote for themselves without newspapers making that choice for them. The tabloids seem to believe that their readers are not intelligent enough to make a decision on which party to support by reading policies and instead decide to show them a photo of the party leader to base their choice on instead (The Sun disrespectfully use language so basic that a seven year old could read it and understand it.) It is laughable that people will vote for a politician based on their appearance without knowing any of their policies.

The Sun – for some reason – is the most read paper in Britain. This is a frightening fact when some of the front pages of The Sun are taken into consideration. After the tragic Hillsborough disaster in 1989 when 96 innocent Liverpool fans lost their lives, The Sun claimed on their front page that “some fans picked pockets of victims, some fans urinated on the brave cops and some fans beat up PC giving kiss of life.” Now it has been proven how wrong they were. We should never immediately believe whatever the media tells us. The media (particularly papers like The Sun and The Daily Mail) like to use scaremongering and print highly controversial stories on their front page in order to sell copies and gain more money. It is disgusting and thoroughly wrong that newspapers should be allowed to publish any information that is highly false, although it is unlikely that this will ever become a rule or law because the newspapers will claim that they are using their right to “freedom of press and freedom of speech.” I’m a strong supporter of these two things, but printing stories that are extremely false and inaccurate to a mass audience which can end up ruining lives is not a use of freedom of press/speech.

don't buy the sun

My argument is that the newspapers should allow their readers to make intelligent decisions about which party to support based on facts rather than photographs. I would strongly like to see the press regulated to prevent publication of false or inaccurate stories or headlines- papers should receive a heavy fine or suspension for printing another “Hillsborough- The Truth” type of article. I would like to see more newspapers supporting smaller parties such as The Green Party so we can gain a more balanced representation of UK politics. Finally, readers should become much more aware that not everything that is published in newspapers is true, and to not let a certain paper’s opinion of a politician or party directly affect their own view of them.


8 thoughts on “My Thoughts: The Media Has Too Much Control Over Our Politics

  1. What, are you FOURTEEN? The whole reason Murdoch, Maxwell, the Beaverbrooks and so on have owned newspapers for the last 200 years IS to have influence over politics. This now applies to the entire media by the way. I don’t want to get two ‘four yorkshiremen’ here but when I was a young journalist most of us wanted to expose corruption, question politicians and try to report neutrally. That’s completely gone now. Why? Because due to the cost of further education and unfair nepotism most journalists are from the very Establishment they are supposed to be monitoring.


      1. And may your advanced wisdom be congratulated at such a tender age. This message of support comes from an old dog journo who used to work with the Sun in the ’70s. You are totally right, the young need to be woken from their ignorance causing slumber. Once awakened they become a formidable force – Keep up the good work, young man!

        Liked by 2 people

  2. The thing is, most people know that the press feeds them a falsehood. Information is widely and freely available from a number of outlets (the web, various newspapers – many of them free – and the television) and yet voters allow themselves to be misled, herded like lambs to the slaughter. If they’re too apathetic to take an interest in their own future then I have little sympathy for them. I just wish their ignorance and stupidity didn’t drag the rest of us down.

    As regards regulation of the press: that’s a very dangerous road, which is why all papers have resisted it so much. As soon as politicians are able to influence what is published, you end up with a media which no longer challenges them. To give you an idea of what that might look like, the Turkish government has just taken over their most popular newspaper because it ran so many negative stories about them.

    Phone hacking in this country has been treated as though it were a crime and there is little doubt that it was abused but it also served useful purpose in exposing what deals politicians were making in secret which ran against the interests of the electorate (I for one would pay bloody good money for some TTIP phone hacking right now). We need fearless investigative journalism. Unfortunately, there will always be an abuse of such opportunities, but the salacious appetite of the public has to bear some of the responsibility for that.

    The real problem is editorial influence over the way the news is presented and the only way that is going to be addressed is if readers make the intelligent decision not to be swayed by such nonsense. Alas, a large proportion of the public seems to like its news presented as a cross between a soap opera, a gossip column and a glamour magazine, so good luck with that. While tits and arses still win the day, we end up with David Cameron, George Osborne, Iain Duncan Smith and Boris Johnson.


  3. As you prove John the young can sometimes resist the brainwashing of the masses by the majority of papers. Hope you keep up your blog whatever career you embark on as we need honest bloggers who have the public interest at heart. Have you followed the story of our outspoken blogger @caebrwyn and how our County Council has done it’s best to silence her? A local paper, which is willing to investigate our CC Council’s wrongdoing, is now a year old and I hope it’s circulation will continue to grow. Basically nowadays we Joe Public have to be very careful when it comes to believing everything the media feeds us and be willing to change our views when fresh (maybe more truthful) info comes to light. Keep up the good work!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s