Posted at 02.10.2018
The aims of the research are focused on assessing the importance of political scandals to the newspaper publishers, on the role that the press assumes and how it is affected by the actual fact that papers are supportive of political celebrations and on general trends which may be found in the coverage of political scandals by the product quality press.
The strategy used will involve a comparative research that places side by side the study of three different scandals. Assessing the conclusions extracted from the three instances studied this research seeks to find basic movements that are transversal to the newspaper publishers while covering political scandals, but also to generalize the leads to the British isles quality press.
The reason to choose as subject of the study newspapers rather than other marketing is related to the actual fact that in britain the press is openly supportive of political parties, in contrast to what happen in tv set and radio broadcasters that are reported to be independent. By learning newspapers it is possible to take an in-depth look at the conflict of passions of supporting a party, reporting the situations to the readers and manager to report the situation keeping or increasing the profits of the papers. The relationship explained before influences the coverage produced by newspapers and the level of impartiality and freedom that must be expected from them.
The present dissertation will also check out the quality press rather than analysing the tabloid magazines. As the tabloid press if often more linked with infotainment somewhat than "serious" media reporting, they will probably have significantly more scandals. Notwithstanding the fact that they report more scandals will not mean that they survey it better, nor people who buy these newspaper publishers expect it to be "serious". In opposition to this reality there exists the product quality press. Whether or not openly supportive of politics parties, the product quality press is likely to give more "serious" reports (Niblock, 1996:23; Conboy, 2005:12). Individuals who buy these newspaper publishers expect to be prepared about issues related with international and politics affairs.
The reason the Guardian, the Separate and the Daily Telegraph (like the Sunday types) were chosen to be analysed is that they permit the coverage of the entire political variety. Analysing one magazine would not be enough to generalize or to find trends that may be transversal to the product quality press. However an analysis that includes the whole political variety in a system that is effectively bipartisan allows a far more detailed comparison. With this context, one can expect that the Guardian provides a Liberal/Labour eye-sight of the reality, the Telegraph is likely to present a Conservative perspective, and the Separate is likely to give an independent vision - since the newspapers boasts to be free from editorial contacts since its beginning.
The articles analysed are from the following schedules: Cash for impact - 25/01/2009 to 31/01/2009; Expenses Scandal - 8/05/2009 to 15/05/2009; and finally Lord Ashcroft duty status - 01/03/2010 to 07-03-2010. The requirements by which the articles were chosen to be analysed was if there was in them references to the scandal. The access to the papers was ensure through the online archives within the newspaper publishers websites. Altogether 400 articles were analysed.
The first history to be study is recognized as "Cash for Affect" which is a scandal pertaining to four Labour Party life peers who were supposedly accepting money in order to help to make amendments to legislation. The peers engaged were Lord Moonie, Lord Snape, Lord Truscott and Lord Taylor. The four Labour users were accused of breaking two key points of the Code of Conduct for the House of Lords. The storyplot was first released in the Sunday Times on the 25th of January of 2009, when personnel from the papers approached the four peers pretending to be lobbyists from an unnamed company. The peers advised them that for the right amount of money they could help them introducing some changes to the legislation.
The second account is about the United kingdom Parliamentary expenditures scandal that was disclosed by the Telegraph after a leak. The storyline broke on, may 2009 and it included the revelation of the bills said by the Members of Parliament. The scandal received a great deal of attention as it was shown that MPs were abusing the system of allowances and expenditures related to their duty inside your home of Commons.
The last circumstance to be analyzed will involve Mr. Ashcroft and his tax status. The controversy around Lord Ashcroft is not recent, but in 2010 Ashcroft decided to come public with his tax position. The controversy aroused not from the legal wrongdoing but because of the fact that it was thought that the Conservative Party deputy chairman acquired agree to become resident in the united kingdom for taxes purposed when he was suggested for a peerage in 2000.
The three reports entail financial transgressions/ controversies. The same logic that determined the newspapers to be analysed was also found in the selection of scandals. Within the coverage of scandals: one of these is associated with peers from the Labour get together, other is associated with people connected with the traditional party and the expenditures scandals require MPs from all the parties that are displayed in the House of Commons. The scandals are all very recent and that, I hope, provides an current point of view of the coverage of political scandals.
The first decision that was to be produced was taking into consideration the approach that needs to be used to answer the study questions. After considering some studies relating to media studies produced before such as the works produced by Gans, 1979; Fishman, 1980; and Canel and Sanders, 2006; It had been decided that an ideal approach to the analysis would be merging qualitative and quantitative research techniques. This is so because the questions entail a different kind of answers but also because by combining different approaches the work will follow a concept of triangulation delivering higher validity. Triangulation is:
". . . the traditional view that quantitative and qualitative research might be combined to triangulate conclusions so that they may be mutually corroborated" (Bryman, 2006:608).
For the combination of different approaches it would be used first Content Analysis of the articles shared by newspapers related with the scandals and interviews with journalists from the three newspaper publishers that are study here. However the journalists weren't very accessible and many didn't show availableness to be interviewed. Because of this simple fact, the interviews were lowered from this job.
The main strategy to be used will be Content Evaluation as it allows a, comparative evaluation of the coverage of the scandals. Using this method it is possible to examine the prominence and the importance that the tales may presume to the magazines (Hansen et al. , 1998:95). The comparative way also allows the id of the tendencies and changes in the positioning adopted by magazines during the coverage of the stories.
These questions act like those that this dissertation has to deal with in order to answer the study questions. Other advantage of Content Analysis is the fact it produces, if well-conducted, data that is less inclined to have problems with subjective selectiveness and idiosyncrasies as it is a translucent and systematic technique of evaluation (Hansen et al. , 1998:94: Bryman, 2006:289).
The problems that are inherent to this content Analysis are related to the actual fact that the categories and models of analysis may demand some interpretation form the coders (Bryman, 2006:291). This may lead to some disputes in the interpretation when the study is replicated. However, as these limits were taken into account the codebook was design in order to guarantee its steadiness and trustworthiness.
While coding the Content Evaluation the first seven categories - the magazine where the article was present, the story covered, the particular date, the headline, the article duration, the reporter and position and the genre of the article - are basic information related with the characteristics of the articles. However this basic information provides answers to questions related to: the scandal that received most attention, the magazines that had written more about the scandals, the publication that included more articles concerning these stories, the moment where the fascination with the reviews peaked and when it began to diminish, the type of the styles that are definitely more dominant in the coverage. The research of the positioning of the journalists is also very important because it is can show the value that this article assumes for the newspaper. If a tale is considered very important then it is more likely with an experienced and high-positioned journalist in the newspapers hierarchy writing this article. Possibly these parameters are expected to provide data to analyse basic trends and the importance that the tales assumed for the newspaper publishers.
The exclusive content state is a category that aspires to give signs about the role of the newspaper publishers while covering the stories. If papers are releasing information that they state to have exclusive content, it is assumed that they are investing money and time on the storyplot.
The scandal category can be used to judge the coverage of the reports. It is be ready to give a point of view on set up stories were defined as scandals. It may also be a spot to analyse potential changes related to the editorial alternatives of the magazine.
The position of the articles for the people included and to the acts determined by those is also coded. As the scandals are disclosed, the papers tend to presume positions towards it. This aspect is interesting to comprehend the reactions of the newspaper publishers to the tales and if they are transversal or if they have a tendency to change as more is well known about the scandal.
The variables relating to the name of the get together in the headline or business lead can be found to provide data to study if the bond between the get together and the actors of the scandals is known as important to the magazines. It is likely to indicate if newspapers are likely to identify more regularly, in these two elements of the articles, the name of the get together they do not support rather than the get together they support. This category is also expected to give information about the value of the get together id for the paper when covering political scandals. The usage of newspapers by the politics people is also coded by looking at the various stances that are present in the articles. This information is provided by the category concerning the addition of different politics stances in the articles. The identification of the party that is less heard is also important to check the capability of the get-togethers to access the different newspapers.
The number of individuals quoted is also a target of this analysis. The amount of persons coded is assumed as you indicator of the time that was spent with the article. However to raised evaluate the role of the quotes used they are simply counted in three different categories: the amount of sources that presume natural, accusative or sympathetic positions on the people involved in the scandals. It is believed that using this method it is possible to test the bias of the quotes used into the story.
The victims of the scandals identified by the journalists in the articles are counted as well. This provides information about how exactly the results of the scandal are perspective by the paper. This information is expected to offers information if scandals are seen as a morality story or if there is space for the "political game" point of view. In continuation to the research paid to the politics get-togethers, it is tested if the coverage has offered the idea of elections and the consequences that the scandal may have for the results of the polls. That is done by the inclusion of an category that counts if the article mentions the elections.
In order to understand the role of the press during the scandals, and the positions used by the papers - and it had not been possible to interview the folks involved in the coverage of the scandals - the editorials will be more profoundly analysed that the other articles. The serious analysis is put on these articles because in the United Kingdom this genre is assumed to be where the opinion of the magazines is show (Canel and Sanders, 2006:10).
The extra factors that are coded in the research of the primary articles are six. Two factors are named praises and criticisms and they will record who is being attacked and protected by the papers. Are magazines more confortable attacking papers they don't support? Or could it be said that they will assault whoever is involved with a scandal just as? While attacking folks involved in one party, are magazines softer with the party they support?
The other four categories coded are concerned with the role assumed by the quality press. To information is a category that aspires to gauge the posture of newspapers towards its readers and the information it provides them. How often do papers look for legitimacy by boasting they are providing information that is of the public interest? As for the solidarity and we vs. them categories, these target to analyse if the product quality press tries to establish a close relation with its viewers or if it tries to assume a more isolated position of the natural vigilant.
Lastly, the role of the paperwork towards the political system is examined in the boasts for reform done by newspapers. Do we've newspapers that are incredibly productive claiming for politicians to be improved, or is the product quality press passive? The claim for reform category is most likely likely to give an answer to the people questions.
The biggest constraints to the research are related to the second strategy of research used and the access to newspapers. The actual fact that the journalists which were covering the reviews weren't interviewed omits one set of accounts of the occasions involved.
The access to newspapers also imposes limits to the study. While accessing to online editions parameters such as pictures, front-cover and size of this article in relation with the format of the web page of the publication aren't available. In excluding such parameters information which may be relevant for the research is not included.
The similar characteristics of the scandals can also be question, as Lord Ashcroft in opposition to what eventually the peers of the Labour Party did not perform any take action that was outlawed. The fact that scandal was nearer to the overall elections can affect the coverage that it received. Contrary to the other scandals, Lord Ashcroft's controversy was rumoured before, and so this scandals when found may have lost the impact that the other situations attached.