I think we must be grateful to the FT for pointing out an interesting study on the effect of the Liverpool boycott of the ‘Sun’ ‘newspaper’ after Liverpool fans were falsely accused of causing the Hillsborough disaster through their own misbehaviour.
The authors allowed and adjusted for demography changes, and even EU development funds, but still found, in short:
“People in Merseyside were more Eurosceptic before Hillsborough than others in the north [of England] and that trend has been interrupted by the boycott [of the Sun],” said Mr Florian Foos of the London School of Economics, one of the joint authors of the report.
The study considers that a ‘Sun’ boycott elsewhere might have had much less effect. “Had there been a boycott of The Sun in a southern English county, readers might have switched to the Eurosceptic Daily Mail rather than the Mirror“. he added.
This provides further evidence that the BBC should not be framing its own news agenda by following the priorities suggested in the UK press.
This everyday drip-drip of short term influence turns out to affect the long-term outcomes for us all.