On Thursday 23 June 2016, the UK announced its exit from the European Union following a referendum in which more than 30 million people voted, with those in favour of leaving winning by 52% to 48%. The Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism (RISJ) partnered with media insight specialists, PRIME Research, to monitor press coverage of the lead-up to the vote, and in this presentation, the Institute’s Director Dr David Levy shares the results of that study. He examines the output of nine major national newspapers that covered the EU referendum across the four months of what became a highly charged and divisive campaign. The analysis focuses on the orientation and tone of the coverage, the main topics addressed and the voices cited. It draws on the research findings to show the degree to which press coverage was highly partisan and polarised, and asks to what extent that may have been significant in setting the terms of the wider public debate.
Dr David Levy has been RISJ Director since September 2008. Prior to this position, he was Controller, Public Policy at the BBC until 2007. He also has extensive experience working in journalism, first for the BBC Wor ld Ser vice and then for BBC News and Current Affairs; as a radio producer and reporter onFile on 4; as a TV reporter onNewsnight, and as Editor ofAnalysison Radio 4. Dr Levy’s recent publications include joint editorship with NicNewman of the annual Reuters Institute Digital News Report (Reuters Institute 2012-16), and joint authorship of the Reuters Institute 2016 report on ‘UK Press Coverage of the EU Referendum’.