Ireland’s national newspapers carried three times more Yes articles than No articles about the same-sex marriage referendum in the three weeks up to May 20. The finding is based on independently commissioned research by PR and public affairs agency MKC Communications and carried out by media monitoring company, Newsaccess.
A detailed analysis of coverage of the Referendum in 10 national titles – the Irish Independent, The Irish Times, Irish Examiner, Daily Mail, The Herald, The Star, Sunday Independent, Sunday Times, Sunday Business Post and Mail on Sunday – showed a total of 424 Yes articles across the titles in that period, compared to 135 No articles.
A further 214 ‘neutral’ articles were carried in the same period by the same newspapers. MKC managing director Laurie Mannix (above) said the research was not an opinion poll. All articles were read and analysed by Newsaccess in terms of whether the tone of the piece was in favour of a Yes vote, a No vote or a neutral analysis of the referendum.
Unlike broadcast media, which must provide balanced coverage of referenda, the print media are not subject to such strictures and the MKC study confirms the broad and widespread support in the Irish print media for a Yes vote, Mannix added.