Peter Robinson, leader of the DUP and First Minister of Northern Ireland, said…: “Just who do the broadcasters think they are, that they can set down a diktat?” he told Sky News.
That’s precisely the point. The media are doing what they think is right, not what politicians are telling them to do. It’s known as a free press.
I’m far from a fan of how the press has abused its freedoms in the past, including widespread institutionalised law-breaking, or the way its reports are often reliant on biased sources and fail to stand up to government spin doctors. But central to the whole point of a free press is that it decides how it is going to cover a story.
Imagine how absurd it would be if the media’s format for other aspects of its election coverage was to be set by politicians rather than the media. Choice of front page stories perhaps?
It’s the job of the media to decide how they’re going to cover stories, not politicians.