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Follow-up review of (Accuracy and impartiality in coverage of the 4 nations)


Grant Holders: Professor Justin Lewis & Dr Stephen Cushion

Researcher: Gordon Neil Ramsay

Funder: BBC Trust

Period: 2009 to 2010

This project was a follow-up review of the research (Accuracy and impartiality in coverage of the 4 nations) we carried out on how the four nations and UK politics was covered in broadcast and online news post-devolution (commissioned by the BBC Trust).

It included substantive content analysis of close to 10,000 news items comparing coverage in 2007 and 2009 (after a set of recommendations had been implemented by the BBC).

This large-scale project of a range of BBC media and commercial television news combined quantitative and qualitative approaches to explore whether coverage of the four nations had changed. Our follow-up research demonstrated that BBC journalism had improved in 2009 compared to 2007, in part due to the impact of the 2007 study.

Research Outputs

The research led to the following publications (including the 2007 study):

Worked with the BBC Trust to produce to detailed research reports

Lewis, Justin, Cushion, Stephen, Groves, Chris, Bennett, Lucy, Reardon, Sally, Wilkins, Emma, Williams, Rebecca (2008) Four Nations Impartiality Review: An analysis of reporting devolution. BBC Trust publication. [917KB]

Cushion, Stephen, Lewis, Justin and Ramsay, G. (2010) Four Nations Impartiality Review Follow-up: An analysis of reporting devolution. London: BBC Trust Publication.

The findings also developed into academic peer reviewed articles in key journals:

Cushion, S., Lewis, J. M. W. and Groves, C. R. 2009. Reflecting the four nations? An analysis of reporting devolution on UK network news mediaJournalism Studies 10(5), pp. 655-671. (10.1080/14616700902797242)

Cushion, S., Lewis, J. M. W. and Groves, C. R. 2009. Prioritizing hand-shaking over policy-making: A study of how the 2007 devolved elections was reported on BBC UK network coverageCyfrwng: Media Wales Journal 6

Cushion,Stephen., Lewis, Justin and Ramsay, Gordan. (2012). The impact of interventionist regulation in reshaping news agendas: A comparative analysis of public and commercially funded television journalismJournalism 13(7), pp. 831-849. (10.1177/1464884911431536)

Cushion, Stephen (2012). Television journalism. Journalism Studies: Key Texts. London: SAGE Publications.

Cushion, Stephen (2013) 'Assessing, measuring and applying ‘public value tests’ beyond new media: Interpreting impartiality and plurality in debates about journalism standards' in Barko, Leon (ed.)From Theory to Practice: How to Assess and Apply Impartiality in News and Current Affairs. Chicago: Chicago University Press.

Cushion, Stephen (2013) 'Do public service media (still) matter? Evaluating the supply, quality and impact of television news in Western Europe' in Kuhn, Raymond and Neilson, Rasmus Kleis, Political Journalism in Transition: Western Europe in Comparative Perspective. London :I.B. Tauris