Missing something? No room for Labour manifesto on the Times front page

The former newspaper of record has been dragged down the path of Murdoch bias


Take a look at these pictures. They show the front page for the Times newspaper for Monday, Tuesday and today. Notice anything strange?

Times fronts manifesto

If you’re still stumped, recall that this was the week the two – that’s two – main parties released their election manifestos to the country.

Yet the Times newspaper, thought to be less partisan than other papers, could find no space on its front pages for the Labour manifesto – not even as a smaller story or tiny short at the bottom of the page.

Monday’s headline, ‘Passionate Cameron outlines his Tory dream’, speaks for itself, while Tuesday’s ‘Right to buy for £1.3m families’ hails the Conservatives’ flagship policy.

Today’s paper leads with ‘Brussels vows to block Cameron on EU treaty’, about the prime minister’s valiant but futile stand against the European juggernaut.

While Labour does get a mention in the ‘right to buy’ story on Tuesday, it’s only to highlight criticism from the Institute for Fiscal Studies and shoot holes in Labour’s campaign. (There’s also a cartoon at the foot of the page of a toothy Ed Miliband saying: “Will I make life tough enough? Hell yes!”)

So, what gives? No headlines? No stories? It’s not as if Labour’s manifesto release lacked new policies, from freezing rail prices to expanding childcare services, or surprise moves like placing deficit reduction and fiscal responsibility pledges at the front of the document.

It’s as if these covers were printed in an alternate Tory universe where only one party is running, or at least with any chance of success. And this in what was once the newspaper of record.

You would expect this sort of thing from the openly conservative newspapers. (The Daily Mail for example also ignored Labour on its covers.) But the Times is still considered to be a more serious and objective newspaper, both here and around the world, despite being swallowed by Rupert Murdoch’s News UK in 1981.

How can anyone honestly look at these front pages and call them an authoritative or honest account of this week’s news?

Adam Barnett is a staff writer at Left Foot Forward. Follow MediaWatch on Twitter

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24 Responses to “Missing something? No room for Labour manifesto on the Times front page”

  1. Gary Scott

    Looking for unbiased media coverage in the UK? Forget it!

  2. Selohesra

    Don’t worry – BBC will compensate with favourable coverage for Labour – and they reach bigger audience than all the press put together

  3. Matthew Blott

    Yes we hear this bollocks in response to the brazen partisan support of the Tory press. But what you’ll get on the BBC news is a fair reporting of the parties with questioning by conservatives Nick Robinson and Andrew Neil leading their flagship programmes. There won’t be anything like in yesterday’s Sun telling readers they are mentally ill if they vote for Labour.

  4. Cole

    Actually, the Times hasn’t been a serious and objective paper for at least 20 years. The FT is about the only one that really tries to provide unbiased reporting, much to the fury of the Tories.

  5. Cole

    Really? Have you watched the BBC recently? They’ve clearly been intimidated by the Conservatives.

  6. Gerschwin

    Ha. Ha. The FT may as well be edited from Labour central office. Love it. Is the Guardian impartial too? Let me guess The Independent as well?

    Oh fab Cole. Sometimes you make me really smile.

  7. Gerschwin

    Thanks Ed.

  8. Gerschwin

    Hey dimwits – in Britain the newspapers are partisan. It’s one of those things. In theory the TV news is supposed to be balanced but there’s no such bind on the newspapers…. yeah… ‘swhy Grauniad and Indie always do love ins with Labour PIErty and the likes of the Speccie and Torygraph are right behind the Tories. Times can do what the hell it likes.

  9. Cole

    How about you read what I wrote instead of making silly comments.

  10. Cole

    Exactly the point I made below. Most of the papers are partisan bollocks and getting worse. No wonder they have less and less readers.

    Btw, the Indy and Guardian didn’t back Labour in 2010, contrary to what most right whingers think. But you can’t expect them to know any facts.

  11. Gerschwin

    Quite right, with you all the way Cole old chap Guardian and Indy certainly know no facts… they’re back to backing the Labour PIErty now after their brief love in with the Lib Dems in 2010, but that was never gonna be a long term love once the LibDems went into coalition with fabulous DC.

  12. Peter

    On the day of Labour’s manifesto launch, the BBC’s News at
    Ten gave air time to a considerable amount of other party leaders to slag of
    Labour’s manifesto. On the day of the Tories launch, the BBC failed to give
    such an opportunity for other party leaders to slag of the Tory manifesto. Yes
    it seems, the BBC has been intimidated
    by the Conservative Party.

  13. Leon Wolfeson

    What rot. Studies have shown they’re subservient to the government.

  14. Guest

    Keep highlighting how you’re so proud to be worse than Labour, and your love of crime.

  15. JoeDM

    Clearly the Times has got its priorities right !!!!

    Well done The Times.

  16. JoeDM

    The print media does not and should not be unbiased. We have a variety of views available. Go and read the Guardian or Mirror.

  17. Leon Wolfeson

    Good joke!

  18. BlueApesRevolt

    There are some dismal comments on here from Tories ..all lacking any understanding of the dynamics of power,control ,wealth and the media.They seem to believe that Britain has a free press ..Ok if that is the case why have a number of journalists working for The Daily Star ,The Daily Mail , The Daily Express etc etc talked about the fear of losing their job unless they towed the line of the newspaper owner ?.Press freedom according to the narrow right wing definition only applies to the person that owns the newspaper ..and that is no freedom for the wider population .The fact is that roughly 80% of the press has a hard right wing perspective .That perspective does affect the worldview of the readers ..what news gets reported ,how it is reported ,what isn’t reported etc and as this article makes clear the Times goes out of it’s way not to allow prominent coverage of Labour’s manifesto ,while The Sun abuses potential Labour voters in the most stigmatising way .It is at the same time ridiculous to accuse the BBC of being biased towards Labour ,Nick Robinson and Andrew Neil to name but two have both had pasts as zealous right wingers ,while the upper echelons of the BBC are far more Tory than Labour .Perhaps the truth is that a news source which is relatively balanced (compared to the Tory press ) appears left wing to most Tories ,because these are so used to having their own views reflected in the media The right will not be satisfied until all major news sources are on the hard right .Even then they will call it “freedom “..

  19. Leon Wolfeson

    If there was an article criticising Lawn Gnomes, your bot would post “Well done Lawn Gnomes”

  20. Guest

    Keep yelling how you’re so so MUCH nicer than the people you accuse, based on your bigotry, and how you are creepy even to your Dear Leader.

  21. Gerschwin

    You’re a loon Leon. Certifiable.

  22. Cole

    While you can read the Sun, Telegraph, Times, Express, Mail and probably some others for misleading and mendacious right wing propaganda.

  23. Guest

    “UR MAD JEW”

    The usual nonsense from, you, I see, Lord Blagger.

  24. Harold

    I agree, it will be the undoing of the newspaper industry, I used to buy a paper every day sometimes two, now I rarely do and often do not even bother to read free copies in cafes. sales of newspapers have declined over the last ten or so years, treating the readers as fools is not a positive way forward. I know Daily Mail readers who joke about the “nasty” views so often expressed. I have always thought the BBC to be right of centre, how many work there who have not had a University and/or Private Education? The staff at the BBC are naturally conservative with a small “c” It is therefore very surprising to see Labour ahead in the polls considering the depth and unrelenting attacks on Ed Miliband, his ex-girlfriends was a classic, along with how the present Government is allowed to make claims without much if any challenge, which if any challenge is made, it is then personally attacked. If most parties had the support of so many papers and media, they would win by the proverbial country mile. I still think the Tories will win not because they have the best policies, but because the unrelenting negative attacks on the other parties and the vast sums of money the “right” is throwing at this election will eventually produce the result they are buying.

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