Research and evaluation agency Echo Research has launched a
dedicated general election service for the media and the academic
community to track and analyse press coverage.
The firm is giving weekly briefings on how the parties are getting their
message across and comparing how much time is given to the 'spin' as
opposed to 'hard issues'.
Echo's first briefing was held last week, and it will run them until 8
June, the day after the country goes to the polls.
Business development director Peter Christopherson is leading a team of
nine analysts on the project.
The company is using its offices in New York and Paris to assess how the
US and French press are covering the UK election.
Christopherson said the media would be hard-pressed to keep readers
interested, as sleaze - so prominent during the last general election in
1997 - 'was thin on the ground in 2001'.
'It's harder to keep voters interested in issues such as the economy,'