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UK Media Turns On Government: An alva Media Case Study

Among the many seismic shifts propelled by the coronavirus pandemic was that of the treatment of the UK government by its national media. As the ravages of Covid-19 were felt across the country, the government response, played out in daily briefings from No.10, came under intense scrutiny. Not since World War II had the pronouncements of a Prime Minister been hung upon by so many.

In this, the media played a major role, disseminating in real time each new set of restrictions, data and diagrams, helping people both to understand how the government was handling the virus – and to form opinions of those actions.

As the pandemic played out, the government’s harshest critics emerged from the traditionally right-leaning press. In December 2019, The Telegraph heralded the general election result as ‘JOHNSON’S HISTORIC VICTORY’, while the Daily Mail held nothing back, proclaiming: ‘REJOICE! BORIS SURGES TO LANDSLIDE WIN!’ Less than 12 months later, their headlines
tell a very different story.

In this Media Intelligence case study, we analyse the sentiment of UK National and Regional media between March and November 2020 to answer the following three questions:

  • How has the media’s response to government COVID-19 announcements changed over time?
  • Which events have contributed most significantly to this shift?
  • Which publications have altered their stance most?

If you want to follow reading, you can donwload UK Media Turns On Government Case Study.