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Newspaper election coverage study finds bias

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Latest Political News | Monday November 26 2012 16:44

Newspaper election coverage study finds bias

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A political marketing expert says four of the country's biggest newspapers were substantially biased in their coverage of last year's election - mostly in favour of John Key.

Massey University Associate Professor Claire Robinson assessed all the election images run in The New Zealand Herald, the Herald on Sunday, the Dominion Post and Sunday Star Times.

She says Labour and Phil Goff have real grounds to feel they were unfairly treated.

The research has found Mr Key's picture featured 138 times while Mr Goff featured 80 times.

The Prime Minister also dominated in terms of image size, at an almost 2:1 ratio.

Professor Robinson says in general, the The New Zealand Herald and Herald on Sunday were more positive in their treatment of Mr Key, whilst the Dominion Post and Sunday Star-Times were kinder to Mr Goff.

The Prime Minister is unconvinced by research that suggest he was the recipient of favourable media bias at the last election.

Mr Key says he's surprised by the finding.

"Wow. Really? Were they reading the same things I was reading? There was one or two instances I remember them writing quite a lot about...I think it would be a stretch to say it was biased."

Photo: Edward Swift

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