According to the data, ‘research finds 95% of tabloid’s editorials in runup to election have been anti-Labour, with most of those directly vilifying the Labour leader‘
Despite this, the two main parties are neck and neck in the polls. Of course things can always change on election day but the campaign against Labour hasn’t reduced Labour’s support – nor increased support for the Conservatives.
Is this more evidence that the mainstream media’s political power is in decline?
All of the newspapers have now declared their political allegiances. It is interesting to look at who owns the UK’s mainstream press and to consider what interests their political affiliation might reflect.
(All biographical and business information provided by Wikipedia)
The Independent – backed a Conservative/Lib Dem coalition
Owned by Evgeny Levedev via Independent Print Limited (he also owns Evening Standard Ltd.)
‘Evgeny Lebedev (born 8 May 1980) is the Russian-born British chairman and owner of Evening Standard Ltd, the publisher of the Evening Standard, which he bought in January 2009 and of Independent Print Ltd, publisher of the Independent, the i and the Independent on Sunday, which he bought in March 2010.’
The Daily Mail – backed Conservative/Lib Dem
Owned by Viscount Rothemere via DMG Media
‘DMG Media, formerly Associated Newspapers, is a national newspaper and website publisher in the UK. It is a subsidiary of DMGT. The group was established in 1905 and is currently based at Northcliffe House in Kensington. DMG Media is a leading multi-channel consumer media company which is home to some of the UK’s most popular brands, including the Daily Mail, MailOnline, The Mail on Sunday, Metro, Wowcher, Jobsite and Jobrapido.
Harold Jonathan Esmond Vere Harmsworth, 4th Viscount Rothermere (born 3 December 1967) is a British viscount and inheritor of a newspaper and media empire founded by his great-grandfather Harold Sidney Harmsworth.’
The Telegraph – backed the Conservatives
Owned by The Barclay Brothers via The Telegraph Media Group
‘The Telegraph Media Group (previously the Telegraph Group) is the proprietor of The Daily Telegraph and The Sunday Telegraph. It is a subsidiary of Press Holdings. David and Frederick Barclay acquired the group in July 2004, after months of intense bidding and lawsuits, from Hollinger Inc. of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, the newspaper group controlled by the Canadian-born British businessman Conrad Black.’
The Sun, The Times – both backed The Conservatives
Owned by Rupert Murdoch via News Corps UK
‘News Corp UK & Ireland Limited (trading as News UK, formerly News International and NI Group), is a British-based American-owned newspaper publisher, and a wholly owned subsidiary of the American mass media conglomerate News Corp. It is the current publisher of The Times, The Sunday Times and The Sun newspapers and its former publications include the Today, News of the World and The London Paper newspapers. Until June 2002, it was called News International plc. On 31 May 2011 the company name was changed from News International Limited to NI Group Limited, and on 26 June 2013 to News UK.’
The Guardian – backed Labour
Owned by the Scott Trust Limited
‘Guardian Media Group plc (often referred to as GMG) is a British mass media company owning various media operations including The Guardian and The Observer. The group is wholly owned by Scott Trust Limited, which exists to secure the financial and editorial independence of The Guardian in perpetuity.
The Scott Trust Limited is the British company that owns Guardian Media Group and thus The Guardian and The Observer as well as various other media businesses in the UK. In 2008 it replaced the now-defunct Scott Trust, which had owned the Guardian since 1936. The Trust is responsible for appointing the editor of The Guardian (and those of the group’s other main newspapers) but apart from enjoining them to continue the paper’s editorial policy on “the same lines and in the same spirit as heretofore”, has a policy of not interfering in their decisions. This arrangement tends to give editors a long tenure – for example, the past incumbent, Alan Rusbridger, had been there from 1995 until 2015.’
The Mirror – backed Labour
Owned by Trinity Mirror
‘Trinity Mirror plc is a large British newspaper, magazine and digital publisher. It is Britain’s biggest newspaper group, publishing 240 regional papers as well as the national Daily Mirror, Sunday Mirror and People, and the Scottish Sunday Mail and Daily Record. Its headquarters are at Canary Wharf in London. Listed on the London Stock Exchange, it is a constituent of the FTSE SmallCap Index.’
The Express, The Star – backed UKIP
Owned by Richard Desmond through Northern and Shell
‘Northern & Shell is a British publishing and television group. The holding company name is Northern and Shell Network Ltd. Launched and founded in December 1974 and currently owned by Richard Desmond, it publishes the Daily Express, Sunday Express, Daily Star and Daily Star Sunday, and the magazines OK!, New!, Star, and TV Pick Magazine. Northern & Shell also owned three entertainment television channels: Channel 5, 5* and 5USA. The company also owns Portland TV, which owns the adult TV channels; Television X, Red Hot TV, and others.
Richard Desmond (born 8 December 1951) is an English publisher and businessman. He is the owner of Express Newspapers and founder of Northern & Shell, which publishes various celebrity magazines, such as OK! and New!, and British national newspapers Daily Star and Daily Express. Northern & Shell also owns Portland TV which, in turn, owns the adult TV channels Television X, Red Hot TV, and others.
In 2010, Desmond was ranked the equal-57th richest man in Britain according to The Sunday Times Rich List, with a net worth of £950 million. He was once again listed on the 2011 Sunday Times Rich List, with his fortune still at £950 million. In 2014, he was ranked 78th and worth £1.2 billion.’