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2005 Gleneagles Summit Analytical Studies

See also Official Documents

Gleneagles G8 Boosts Blair at Home

Professor John Kirton
G8 Research Group
August 1, 2005

Appendix A: Elite, National and Regional Front-Page Newspaper Attention
Appendix B: Elite, National and Regional Newspaper Editorial Evaluation
Appendix C: Elite, National and Regional Newspaper Editorial Evaluation
Coding Instructions for Editorials

The 2005 G8 Gleneagles Summit did much to boost host Tony Blair’s popularity and performance in domestic political management.

In the two weeks leading up to the start of the Gleneagles Summit on July 6, 2005, the major elite and mass-circulation, quality British and Scottish newspapers gave prominent front-page attention to the G8 and its associated events. Over that period, almost all their editorial pages came to approve and applaud what Tony Blair, Britain and the G8 as an institution were doing.

Once the summit started, the London Olympic bid victory on July 6 diminished front-page attention to the G8, while the terrorist attacks on the London transport system on the morning of July 7 drove G8 coverage to increasingly low levels. However, the suddenly more critical editorial evaluations of the G8 that appeared on the summit’s opening day were steadily transformed by the Olympic victory and London attacks to unanimous approval of Blair’s performance at the summit by the event’s end.

As Appendix A details, front-page attention rose steadily, reaching saturation levels one week before the Gleneagles Summit started, thanks to the London-centred Live 8 concerts and the Make Poverty History march in Edinburgh at the same time. The issues highlighted on the front pages concentrated overwhelmingly on the two priority issues Blair had long highlighted for his summit, above all African development and, to a lesser extent, climate change. Once the summit started, front-page coverage dropped sharply and became largely an incidental part of the stories focusing on the Olympic bid or London terrorist attacks. These two events failed to obliterate front-page attention to the summit altogether, which attracted three front-page treatments on July 9, the day after the summit’s end.

Moreover, as Appendix B shows, the summit continued to receive substantial coverage beyond the front pages within the front and business sections of the elite and national newspapers in the five subsequent days, from July 10 to 14. The G8 received a favourable balance of editorial approval in all of the seven newspapers monitored (or eight, including the weekly Observer).

Even more strikingly, as Appendix C indicates, editorial opinion of Blair’s G8 performance and that of his British colleagues, of his G8 partners, of G8 processes and of policies and pressures all moved to become strongly — indeed almost unanimously — positive, pulled by a unifying enthusiasm in the wake of the Live 8 concert and Make Poverty History march on July 2. This was followed by a more balanced if still positive evaluation when attention turned to the summit itself on its opening day. However, the British Olympic bid victory on July 6 and the terrorist attacks in London on July 7 quickly propelled editorial opinion on the day after the summit back to the unanimous approval Blair had enjoyed during the two days before the summit began. As with front-page attention, this is all the more remarkable as the consensus included elite, mass and regional papers from across the political spectrum. This fully favourable balance of editorial opinion lasted almost without interruption during the following week. Indeed, of the 62 G8-related editorials appearing in the measured newspapers from June 26 to July 16, a full 77% (48) were positive and only 15% (9) negative. In the lead were the Times of London and the Independent with unanimous approval.

In all, in a world that had become skeptical and even cynical of national political leaders and G8 summitry, Tony Blair crafted a Gleneagles G8 that worked strongly for his priority issues for the summit, and for his own popularity at home.

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Appendix A: Elite, National and Regional Front-Page Newspaper Attention

London Times

Financial Times

Elite Average

Daily Telegraph

Independent

Guardian

Observer (Sun. only)

Scotsman

Glasgow Herald

Total Average

6/23

0

0

0

0

 

0

   

33

6

6/24

0

 

0

6/25

0

0

6/26

0

10

33

14

6/27

6/28

0

0

6/29

50*

20

35

6/30

60*

25

43

7/1

50*

33*

42

7/2

100*

100*

100*

75*

94

7/3

100*

100*

66*

100*

75*

50*

100*

86

7/4

50

25

38

30

100*

75*

100*

75*

65

7/5

100*

33

67

50*

100*

33

100*

80*

71

7/6

100*

0

50

66*

100*

25

100*

100*

70

7/7

0

66

33

100*

0

88*

100*

100*

65

7/8

0

75*

38

0

0

0

0

100*

25

7/9

0

40

20

0

0

25

0

13

11

7/10

 0
0
25
0
0
0
0
4

7/11

0
33
17
0
0
not available
0
0
6
7/12
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
7/13
0
16
8
0
0
0
not available
not available
3
7/14
0
0
0
0
0
0
not available
not available
0
7/15
7/16
0
London Times
Financial Times
Elite Average
Daily Telegraph
Independent
Guardian
Observer (Sun. only)
Scotsman
Glasgow Herald
Total Average

Notes:

1. Newspaper Attention is measured as G8-related stories as percentage of front page. Stories containing at least one reference to the G8 (whether the reference appears on the front page in the subsequent portion of a story continued elsewhere), by number of stories and column inches, including pictures but not including the index or advertisements.

2. * = main headline.

3. On Wednesday, July 6, Gleneagles Summit starts with arrivals ceremonies during the day, followed by dinner with the Queen, continues with first full day of working sessions starting at 10h00 on Thursday, July 7, 2005, and concludes with final press conference by Tony Blair as host beginning around 14h30 on Friday, July 8, 2005. Days of the summit are in bold.

4. London wins 2012 Olympic bid announced at 12h30 BST on Wednesday, July 6, 2005.

5. Terrorist attacks on London transit system began just before 9h00 BST on Thursday, July 7, 2005, killing 52 victims and 4 terrorists and injuring more than 700.

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Appendix B: Elite, National and Regional Newspaper Attention by Number of Pages

 

London Times

Financial Times

Elite Total

Daily Telegraph

Independent

Guardian

Observer (Sunday only)

Scotsman

Glasgow Herald

Total Average

7/10

 14
14
6
23
5
6
7
10

7/11

 0
3
2
2
3
4
8
3
3
7/12
1
2
2
2
2
2
1
2
2
7/13
2
2
2
2
2
2
1
2
2
7/14
4
2
3
0
2
5
not available
not available
3
7/15
7/16
2
2

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Appendix C: Elite, National and Regional Newspaper Editorial Evaluation

Number and net balance of G8 editorials

 

London Times

Financial Times

Elite Total

Daily Telegraph

Independent

Guardian

Observer (Sunday only)

Scotsman

Glasgow Herald

Total Editorials

Balance

6/23

0

0

0

0

   

6/24

6/25

0

6/26

0

0

1*/–

1

0:1

6/27

6/28

0

6/29

1*/0

0

1

0

6/30

1*/+

0

1

1:0

7/1

0

1/–

1

0:1

7/2

1*/+

1*/+

1*/–

1*/+

4

3:1

7/3

1*/+

100%/+

1*/+

1*/+

1*/+

1*/+

1*/–

6

5:1

7/4

1*/+

0

50%/+

1/+

1*/+

1*/+

1*/+

1*/+

6

6:0

7/5

1*/+

0

50%/+

2/++

1*/+

0

2*/++

2*/++

8

8:0

7/6

1*/+

1/–

50%/0

0

1*/+

1*/–

2*/00

1*/+

7

3:2

7/7

0

0

0

2*/++

0

0

1*/–

2*/++

5

4:1

7/8

1*/+

1*/+

100%/+

1*/–

1*/0

1*/+

1*/+

2*/+–

8

5:2

7/9

1/+

1/+

100%/+

1/+

2/++

1*/+

1*/+

0

7

7:0

7/10

1*/+
50/%/+
0
1*/+
0
0
1/0
3
2:0

7/11

0
1/+
50%/+
0
0
1*/+
0
0
2
2:0
7/12
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1+
1
1:0
7/13
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
7/14
0
0
0
0
0
1/0
0
1
0
7/15
7/16
1/+
1
1:0
Total
10
5
8
9
6
1
10
14
62
+(–)
9(0)
4(1)
7(1)
8(0)
4(1)
1
6(2)
9(4)
48+
48:9
London Times
Financial Times
Elite Total
Daily Telegraph
Independent
Guardian
Observer (Sunday only)
Scotsman
Glasgow Herald
Total Editorials
Balance

Notes:

1. Number of Editorials consists of core editorials. It excludes columns by the major national columnists and others, op-ed (opinion-editorial) pieces and editorial cartoons. The first number is the number of editorials in each edition, followed after the slash with the evaluation (positive [+] or neutral [0] or negative [–]) of the individual editorials in the order in which they appear.

2. * = lead editorial.

3. Total editorials is the total number of individual editorials in each paper monitored, as opposed to the total of papers in which a G8-related article appears.

4. Balance refers to the ratio of positive to negative editorials and excludes neutral editorials, thus meaning that the total numbers under Balance do not necessarily equal the number listed under Total Editorials.

5. On Wednesday, July 6, Gleneagles summit starts with arrivals ceremonies during the day, followed by dinner with the Queen, continues with first full day of working sessions starting at 10h00 on Thursday, July 7, 2005, and concludes with final press conference by Tony Blair as host beginning around 14h30 on Friday, July 8, 2005. Summit days are shown in bold.

6. London wins 2012 Olympic bid announced at 12h30 BST on Wednesday, July 6, 2005.

7. Terrorist attacks on London transit system began just before 9h00 BST on Thursday, July 7, 2005, killing 52 victims and 4 terrorists and injuring more than 700.

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Coding Instructions for Editorials

Balance of opinion in an editorial is coded positive (+) or neutral (0) or negative (–) based on the evaluation in increasing order of importance of:

  1. G8-associated processes (i.e., concerts such as Live 8, marches such as the Make Poverty History march, demonstrations such as Jubilee 2000 in 1998, protests, security presence, logistics, local benefits, costs, food such as comments made by leaders, etc.)
  2. G8 policies as highlighted by the host or institution as endorsed by the editorial indirectly and directly (policies about Africa, climate change etc.)
  3. G8 process, institution and the current installment (i.e., this year’s summit or ministerial or official meetings)
  4. G8 partners as mentioned by the editorial with direct reference to the leaders of non-host G8 members or their countries or the invited guests and their countries (e.g., Bush, Chirac, Fox), with an emphasis on reference to the G8 host that year
  5. G8 host, including the country (e.g., Britain in 2005), major national representatives (e.g., in 2005 Gordon Brown, Queen, etc.) and, above all, the host leader referred to directly by position (e.g., in 2005 prime minister) or name (e.g., in 2005 Tony Blair).

The G8 leader is defined by the country where the newspaper is published. Explicit notations about the host leader are definitive and supercede judgements made about lower-level entities.

This calculus reflects the central dynamic of domestic political management as the overall concept. While most editorials contain some positive/neutral/negative judgements, it is the overall constellation calculated in the above manner that generates the overall score. Component scores on the above five levels can be assigned to each paragraph within the editorial, with a increasing emphasis on the opening sentence and paragraph, concluding paragraph and sentence, and the headline. The latter will tip the balance in the event of the tie based on the editorial content.

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