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  • AQA Component Influence of the media on the outcomes of elections

  • Edexcel Component 1: 4.2: The influence of the media: media bias and persuasion

Background: what you need to know

The starting point for this article is the story that the government of the United Arab Emirates is trying to buy three important Conservative-leaning news publications, the Daily Telegraph, Sunday Telegraph and Spectator. The article expresses concern that if the bid goes ahead, this would bring an influential section of the UK media under the control of a regime which shows little respect for press freedom.

The article makes a broader point about a number of existing UK media bosses, arguing that wealthy and powerful individuals use their ownership of major national newspapers to promote their own agendas. Examples include Russian businessman, Evgeny Lebedev (promoted by Boris Johnson to the House of Lords) who co-owns the Evening Standard and the Independent, and Rupert Murdoch, owner of the Times and the Sun.

Click the link below to read the article and then answer the questions:

Spare us the sanctimony on fit and proper media owners

Question in the style of AQA Politics Paper 1

  • ‘The media exercise undue influence over UK politics.’ Analyse and evaluate this statement. [9 marks]

Question in the style of Edexcel Politics Paper 1

  • Evaluate the view that the media exercise excessive influence over UK politics.

    You must consider this view and the alternative to this view in a balanced way. (30)

    TIP: Research some of the press barons mentioned in the article and assess the political influence of the newspapers they control. Remember that in answering the questions above, you should consider not only the press but also the role of other media, such as TV and social media.

Graham Goodlad, Portsmouth High School

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