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TV news coverage of the 2015 UK General Election campaign

Systematic study of TV news coverage of the 2015 UK General Election campaign.

Project details

We examined bulletins on Channel 5 at 5pm, Channel 4 at 7pm and at 10pm on BBC, ITV and Sky News. Our primarily interest was exploring the comparative level of coverage, the nature of political reporting and how balanced. We also explored the wider influences shaping TV news agendas during the campaign.

Research impact

“The Cardiff University study provided fascinating background context to my work during the election” - Adam Baxter, Standards Executive at Ofcom

“…helped me have a picture of making sure we were on the right path and feeling our way to a good destination” - Paul Royall, Editor of BBC’s Six and Ten O’clock News

“we read with fascination your [Cardiff University] reports every week and I think we came out alright” - Ben De Pear, Head of Channel 4 News

Media coverage

The research generated considerable interest and discussion. For example on:

Guardian links

The research was published in the Media Guardian during the campaign, and widely shared and discussed on social media.

Other relevant media articles

Relevant academic articles related to elections

  • Cushion, Stephen Thomas, Richard and Ellis, Oliver (2015) ‘The mediatization of second order elections: UK television news reporting of the 2014 EU campaign’ in International Journal of Communication, Vol. 9: 1523-1543
  • Cushion, Stephen, Thomas, Richard and Ellis, Oliver (2015) ‘Interpreting UKIP’s “earthquake” in British politics: A comparative study of UK television news coverage during the 2009 and 2014 EU election campaigns’ in Political Quarterly, Vol. 86 (2): 314–322
  • Cushion, Stephen and Thomas, Richard (2015) ‘Comparing the news value of second order elections: Campaign reporting of the 2009 and 2013 local and EU elections on public and commercially driven UK television news’ in British Politics, ifirst

The project team

Grant holder

Stephen Cushion

Professor Stephen Cushion

Director of Postgraduate Research



This research was made possible through the support of the following organisations: