Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Gettng the media to shine the spotlight on us Greens

Whilst I was looking for work in the not-for-profit sector, the Green Party's candidate for the Newark by-election, David Kirwan, thankfully got rare coverage from the biased BBC to get the anti-austerity and green message across to Newark, particularly important as it is the first time we have stood in Newark since 1992. It has been reported in a related story that there apparently have been internal BBC memos instructing reporters to deliberately under-report the Green Party during the May elections.

Other notable examples of media bias include Sky News lumping us with 'others' when giving the final tally of British MEPs, even though it is known that we Greens have 3 MEPs and the Liberal Democrats only have 1 MEP, and Channel Four giving an hour long documentary exclusive to UKIP leader NIgel Farage and Channel Four waiting very late to give us a slot for our party political broadcast-there was a week where it gave Labour, Conservatives, the Liberal Democrats, and UKIP a five minute broadcast slot each but not us. Although The Independent, the Guardian, the Huffington Post, and Morning Star have been kind enough to give us some useful coverage, their combined share of the media market is much less than that of the right-wing mainstream media combined (Daily Express, Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail, The Sun etc.) who are blacking us out completely, and also other parties who are not one of the main four (Lab, Con, Lib Dem, UKIP).

The issue of media coverage is becoming more and more important to us Greens, particularly with a 38 Degrees petition against biased BBC coverage,created by Brightonian Young Green Portia Cocks, having gathered 40,000 signatures and counting as I write (we just need to push it to 100,000 plus!), and a recent Lord Ashcroft poll polling us at 7% in general election terms, and crucially above the Liberal Democrats' polling of 6%. (meanwhile, YouGov, who also distribute a lot of polls, keeps lumping us in with others) This is the first time we have polled above the Liberal Democrats in a general election poll, and it shows more and more people are warming to our message of hope not fear.

I hope the hard work of David in this by-election will mean we can surprise the media by achieving the 5% of the vote needed to have our deposit returned-difficult given that the East Midlands has never been that good in terms of Green potential.


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