17 April 2009

Fleet St exodus from Labour

ConservativeHome has today published a detailed report in to the Fleet St endorsements we can expect at the next general election. It doesn't look to promising for Labour...
Newspaper endorsements are not as valuable as they once were but the editorial endorsements of a newspaper are still actively sought by politicians - not least because they tend to influence the overall news priorities of that newspaper.

Over the last 24 hours I've been speaking to journalists within all of Britain's main daily newspapers (and The Economist) - at least two on each - and speculating about their likely endorsements at the next election.

What we are likely to witness is Fleet Street making a mass defection from Labour to the Conservatives.

Only The Mirror is sure to endorse Labour. Fleet Street's four swing voters - the FT, Economist, Times and London Evening Standard - are likely to endorse the Conservatives although no final decisions have been taken.

Commercial and ideological reasons mean that The Guardian and Independent will stop a long way short of endorsing the Conservatives but are likely to continue to give David Cameron a fairer hearing than they have given any previous Tory leader.
I do think, as the article eludes to, that the impact of newspaper endorsements matters less and less. With the rise of online news sources and the political blogosphere the printing press has been in somewhat of a terminal decline. But endorsements come with favourable coverage which help to set the overall tone of a campaign. 

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