The survey covers EU content in the campaign period (3 May to 7 June) of the 2017 General Election on BBC1’s News at Ten and BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
This paper examines the BBC’s coverage, since 2002, of those on the left who wanted to leave the EU, including during the 2016 Referendum and the 2017 General Election. Data is from 30 individual News-watch surveys, analysing over 5,500 hours of BBC output, and 274 hours of EU-related content.
News-watch analysed all EU and Brexit-related coverage broadcast on the Today programme for one week between 29 March and 4 April 2017, coinciding with the delivery of the letter informing the European Union of Britain’s intention to leave, as set out in Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. The Today programme carried 5 hours and 5 minutes of EU coverage, almost half of its available airtime and carried contributions from 124 guest speakers.
News-watch analysed all lunchtime and evening editions of Radio 1’s ‘Newsbeat’ for a ten-week period between 15 April and 23 June – the period in which the BBC’s Referendum Guidelines were in effect, and ‘broad balance’ ought to have been achieved between the Leave and Remain arguments on Britain’s membership of the European Union.
News-watch monitored four BBC programmes for an eight-week period between Monday 27 October and Saturday 21 December 2014. The programmes were: The World at One and PM on BBC Radio 4, BBC1’s News at Ten, and BBC2’s Newsnight. This equated to approximately 131 hours of broadcasting.
News-watch monitored nine BBC programmes for a period of six weeks between Monday 21 April and Sunday 1 June 2014. The BBC Radio 4 programmes selected for monitoring and analysis were: Today; the World at One (including the World This Weekend each Sunday); PM; The Six O’clock News; The World Tonight. The television broadcasts comprised the three main BBC1 bulletins – News at One, News at Six and News at Ten – and BBC 2’s Newsnight.
The survey interval focused on the 31 days preceding the European election, polling day itself, and 10 days subsequent to the election. This 42 day period equated to approximately 280 hours of broadcasting.