Media not providing the public with the news they want

Jemma ConnerPolitical Research Executive
March 20, 2020, 1:03 PM UTC

At recent climate protests in Bristol Greta Thunberg claimed that the media has ignored the climate crisis, and YouGov research shows that a plurality of Britons agree: 40% say climate change does not get enough attention in the media.

However, a quarter (26%) of the population think the opposite, that the issue gets too much attention, and one in four (26%) say the coverage is about right.

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Young people are much more likely to think the issue is underrepresented, with 60% of 18 to 24 year-olds saying that the media does not cover it enough, compared to just 15% who say it gets too much attention.

In contrast, just 30% of those aged 65 and over think the climate crisis doesn’t get enough attention, and 36% say it gets too much.

Among other issues that have been prominent in headlines recently, half of respondents (48%) feel the US Presidential election has been given too much attention, suggesting a lack of enthusiasm from the British public towards US politics.

Brits are just as apathetic about the coverage of the issue that has dominated the political agenda this side of the pond for the last few years. Some 43% of the public say Brexit is given too much attention in the media. Leavers are far more likely to be happy with the current level of coverage (43%), compared to 37% who felt it gets too much attention. Less than a third (31%) of Remainers feel that the current level of coverage is about right, while 46% say it gets too much attention.

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Similarly with climate change, some other key issues where the public feel more media coverage is needed are housing (48%) and education (49%), suggesting that these issues are important to the public and developments in these areas should be more prominent in the news.

Although health comes high in the list of issues the public feel do not receive enough coverage (40%), when asked specifically about the coronavirus, the opposite is true. Half of respondents (50%) said that the virus is receiving too much attention in the media.

There were only two issues where a plurality of respondents felt that the media has got the amount of coverage about right, defence (38%) the national economy (48%) and transport (44%).

Image: Getty 

See full results here