A publication capturing initial thoughts, reflections and early research insights on the General Election from 92 leading UK academics has been launched at the House of Commons.
UK Election Analysis 2015: Media, Voters and the Campaign was made available ten days after the election, with 73 articles covering everything from female representation to media influence to opinion polls.
Published by the Centre for Journalism, Culture and Community at Bournemouth University (BU) and the Political Studies Association (PSA) Media and Politics Group, the booklet looks back at the General Election campaign and the relationship between politicians, media and the public.
An online PDF of the publication has already been downloaded more than 1,000 times, and a printed version was launched at the House of Commons on the day of the Queen’s Speech.
BU’s Einar Thorsen and Daniel Jackson came up with the concept for the project and co-edited the publication.
“It’s a snap analysis, with research-informed reflections on the UK election, published immediately afterwards in order to try and contribute to the debate while it’s still live and reach new audiences,” said Daniel, a Principal Lecturer in Media and Communications at BU and Co-convenor of the PSA Media and Politics Group.
Einar, who is Associate Director of the Centre for the Study of Journalism, Culture and Community, added: “We wanted to kick start the debate, putting academic contributions at the heart of it and engaging people while the issues are still fresh.
“There’s a wealth of research and a lot of great work going on, but academics are not always very good at reaching other audiences – so it needed to be freely available and written in an accessible way to get different audiences to connect with that work.”
The launch of the printed publication at the House of Commons featured a panel discussion and Question and Answer session with several of its academic contributors – speaking on key topics ranging from the role of social media in election campaigning to media bias and celebrity culture.
The launch was hosted by Bournemouth West MP Conor Burns, who said: “I think particularly in an election where the professional commentariat got it so wrong in terms of the outcome, I think it’s really important to have academic, rigorous analysis of why that happened and BU, once again, is at the cutting edge in providing that.”
Martin Moore, Director of the Media Standards Trust, was among those who attended the event.
He said of the publication: “It’s a remarkably quick response but a very broad response and incredible that it can cover things like polling mistakes as well as the process of the campaign itself.
“What I would hope is that it raises a lot of questions and can now be properly examined more slowly.”
He added: “For people who are interested in how the media works and how media and politics interconnect, it is very valuable.”
To find out more about the publication and download a full PDF visit the Election Analysis website.