Examining media perceptions for a Government office

In general terms, public sector policymakers and politicians appreciate the influence that commentary and negative journalism can have on public sentiment when they are creating policy. They may have to overcome bias, exaggeration and loaded opinion created by personal interpretation. The origin of this bias might be protagonists with an agenda or particular media.

The challenge

This client wanted to understand any long-term bias in the news media and its origins, testing intuition against hard data. In particular, it wanted to understand: 

  • how different media titles treated a policy proposal – i.e. whether they were supportive, not supportive, or neutral
  • the relative influence of commentators and journalists including the size of commentators’ voices and their reach across different media and social media channels, the disposition of whole news outlets toward a political point of view and policy, and how often this resulted in balanced news or opinionated commentary.   

Our response

We created a historical data sample displayed in dashboard format to show the size, sentiment and bias of different journalists’ and commentators’ voices. The client was able to use this information to inform their response.

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