Thursday, 25 February 2016

Insight4Elections #GE16 – Which candidates get the most coverage?

Insight4Elections #GE16 – Which candidates get the most coverage?

Big party leaders dominate column inches

As we move into the final days of #GE16, it’s perhaps time to look at who has been racking up the column inches in the press.

Researchers from the Insight Centre for Data Analytics have been tracking media coverage of candidates as part of their Insight4Elections data analysis project. The researchers have been tracking coverage of candidates across RTE, Irish Times, Independent, IrishExaminer, The Journal, BBC and Reuters since campaigning started on the 3rd of February.

Unsurprisingly, Enda Kenny tops the pile with 150 articles to date across the tracked outlets. Gerry Adams notched up 115. Micheál Martin was in third place with 112, while Joan Burton is next with 109.

The gulf in coverage is perhaps unsurprising but will strengthen the argument of the smaller party leaders that they are not getting equal access to the electorate when it comes to the main media channels.

Lucinda Creighton and Stephen Donnelly clocked 36 and 34 articles respectively.

Among independent candidates Michael Healy Rae tops the pile with 19 mentions, followed by Shane Ross TD and Tipperary’s Michael Lowry.

Insight4Elections is a publicly available web tool where users can dig into the numbers for themselves. You can find the link here.