Will newspaper endorsements matter as much any more?

Will newspaper endorsements matter as much any more?

The Sun – May 6th 2010

Henry G Manson ponders about the post-scandal media world

On Sunday, Damian Thompson, Editor of the Telegraph Blogs launched a striking attack on David Cameron and the News International phonehacking affair.

He concluded, “It will be difficult to vote Tory at the next election.”

This caught me by surprise and set me thinking if it was at all conceivable that the Telegraph could actually withdraw its support for the Conservatives under David Cameron? What sort of impact could that have on Conservative morale?

It led to me wondering how the crisis could impact on editorial endorsements at the general election. There are more questions than answers. What will the News International papers decide and how will it be diminished by the recent scandal?. How badly will the Conservatives want the support of the Murdoch titles? It certainly seems a different age when in 2005 The Sun crassly announced its support for Labour by the use of ‘papal’ smoke.

There is still something of a live debate as too what extent newspapers reflect their readerships, influence their votes or do neither. Labour didn’t do that badly considering only the Mirror supported it in 2010.

What we do know is that the decline in newspaper sales is consistent and that the influence of the national press will surely diminish as a result.

Personally I’ve always been surprised that political parties don’t put more effort into the local press and radio. Perhaps that will be one consequence of this current crisis which may run throughout much of this parliament. I’m sure a number of our old politcal assumptions will need re-examining as a consequence. I would appreciate your thoughts.

HenryG Manson @henrygmanson

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