Still life in the old attack dogs: the press

2016-06-02T09:47:53Z (GMT) by David Deacon Dominic Wring
During the 2015 campaign there was considerable negativity and partiality in much press reporting; it was not difficult to find examples of where robust political partisanship descended into personal vilification. Some of this was the kind of journalism that had been repeatedly highlighted and criticized only a few years before, most notably in the House of Commons following the 2011 hacking scandal and subsequently during the ensuing year-long Leveson Inquiry. As a counter balance, some opinion-forming commentators believed this election might witness digital platforms assuming a more significant, potentially influential role in framing public participation in, and perceptions of, the contest. At the close of the campaign Alastair Campbell observed: ‘Why has social media been so important? Politicians aren’t trusted any more, business isn’t trusted like it was, the media is certainly not trusted like it was… The genius of social media, and the genius of Facebook is the concept of the friend. We trust our friends’.