This discussion on the influence of the media (8mins 30 in) on the Tubridy Show this morning is well worth listening to again (though for the huge amount of time they get, it doesn’t cover a huge amount of ground). The panel is impressive enough: Paddy Prendiville of Phoenix magazine, Richard Delevan of the Sunday Tribune and Sarah Carey, of well Sarah Carey and the Sunday Times. There is an interesting argument over the terms bias and agenda, mostly because they get used interchangeably. Indeed well on into the debate Delevan and Prenderville resort to a verbal sword fight over the issue. Paddy reckons it is perfectly possible to identify each newspaper’s political bias and categorise in terms of their slant towards a given political party; Richard argues that such a view is insulting to anyone in the business who tries to do a good job of reporting the news, bias and all.
Sarah adopts a Guido-esque argument and reckons that a journalists bias or agenda is less damaging than getting overly dependent on prolonged relationships with people in power.
What I had hoped for, but which didn’t really materialise was the crucial question of just how much influence does the media actually have on the outcome of political elections?