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Bias and Opinion in the UK Press

Logo Circulation Political Bias Who owns it?

(million) Owen
3.1 Right wing Rupert Murdoch
‘’the UK
press is
2.2 Right wing Viscount
largely run
Rothemere via
DMG Media by a very
1.3 Left wing Trinity Mirror small
group of
very right-
0.9 Right wing Trinity Mirror wing
0.8 Right wing The Barclay defend
Brothers the status
0.7 Right wing - Richard quo of
UKIP Desmond which
they are
0.6 Right wing Rupert Murdoch part. If
0.4 Left wing Nikkei Inc. you are on
the left
and want
0.3 Left wing Scott Trust
to change
0.2 Right wing Evgeny Levedev
the media
always come and get you’’
‘’there’s a right wing biased in British newspaper’’
Types of biased
Bias By… Example/ definition
Placement Front page = important
Page 7 = not a focused topic
Headline ‘economic migrant dies attempting to come to Europe’
‘three year old refugee dies seeking a better life’
Word choice ‘refugee’ ‘economic migrant’
Name/title Headlines:
- Aylan Kurdi (economic migrant)
- Aylan Kurdi (3 year old refugee)
Statistics/crowd Up to 400 people took part
counts Less than 400 people took part
Source control Family interviews = personal/sympathetic
Police = generalised opinion
Photo Why have they chosen that exact photo? Why those
edits? Where is it placed on the screen?
Selection/Omission Choosing what to include in the article

Brexit 2016

Biased by…
Headline – Statistics – Photo – Source control –
Guardian is a left £30bn – G – trying G – Osborne is both papers only
wing paper therefore to influence the unhappy as he was show what is either
wanting to stay in the audience by using losing the brexit vote positive or negative
EU and is against money DM – happy right about brexit – not
Brexit. Daily mail is a 43 years – DM – wing parties as they both in the same
right wing paper as ‘freed’ as if to say won the vote source
the conservatives Britain was
initiate brexit trapped in the EU.
Manchester bombings 2016

Biased by…
Source control - Headline – Word choice – Photo –
DM – shows what G – focusing mainly on G – ‘stolen’ – wasn’t G – shows photos
actions to be taken as the young lives being theirs to take even from family and selfies
a result of the taken though they did DM – showing photos
bombing DM – actions as a DM – ‘fanatic from the concert
G – uses quotes from result and only small murdered them’ – where the bombings
members at the print on the young saying that a single took place.
bombings for a real lives lost minded person cold
life experience and heartedly murdered
more emotional- the innocent children
focusing on groups of – more emotion to
people them
Ex-Russian Spy Poisoned 2018

Biased by…
Word choice – Title – Placement –
G – ‘unknown substance’ – G – ‘former Russian spy’ Both stories are on the front page
more formal and less DM – ‘spy swap’ therefore it’s an important story
emotional which both left wing and right
DM – ‘poisoned’ – more wing want their audiences to
horrific and violent know about.
Stuart Hall Reception Theory
Encoding and Decoding
Halls model:
Any production of media goes through this process:
- Moment of encoding; production takes place
- Moment of text; the form and content of what is published and broadcast
- Moment of decoding; the moment of reception or consumption

Audience decoding message:

(Agreed view)

(Some parts agreed however

there are alternative views)

(Completely disagree)

Preferred – celebrating with the politicians about leaving the

Negotiated – agreeing with the statement but also seeing why
it was a bad idea to leave
Oppositional – why did we leave? We are going to go downhill
from here