Newspapers are still the most influential form of media during election campaigns. But change is on the way.
YouGov has published a poll showing that 23% of those surveyed say newspapers could change their voting behaviour. In contrast, 18% said social media would influence the way they vote. Newspapers still play a significant role in the outcome of elections. And political change is so hard to come by because mainstream media in the UK is so opposed to progress.
A poll published by YouGov last year found that the British are the most likely out of seven European countries to think their press is right-wing. Also, 34% of respondents said that the press is too negative about immigration. It is legitimate to question what role the media played in the rise in hate crimes against immigrants following the Brexit vote.
Journalist Owen Jones has described the UK press as:
largely run by a very small group of very right-wing media moguls who defend the status quo of which they are part. If you are on the Left and want to change society, the media will always come and get you.
The Daily Mail is the most widely read newspaper in the UK. 44% of Brits describe The Daily Mail as “very right-wing”, while 81% say it is right-wing in one way or another. The Sun is the second most read newspaper.
These papers are owned by millionaires and billionaires with vested interests. Rupert Murdorch (who owns The Sun) has personally spread fear about asylum seekers. While Lord Rothermere (who owns The Daily Mail) minimises his taxes in order to protect his wealth.