This comment from Llew needs bumping up to post status, as it's an excellent piece of research:
All 3 main parties have a page each reporting their New Year's message.
Labour's, as you say, is quite long. The Tories do get 3 little
paragraphs at the end for a little dig at Labour. There's no dig from the Lib
Dems. The side bar from correspondent Ross Hawkins gets another dig in against
the Tories even though they weren't mentioned by name by Gordon.
The Tories page is a bit shorter, naturally. Unlike Labour, there's no side bar
section where a correspondent highlights a bit of David Cameron's message or
knocks Labour's message, naturally. There are 7 paragraphs at the end knocking
the Tories from both Labour and the Lib Dems, naturally.
The Lib Dems page is of course even shorter. There's no knocking from either Labour or the Tories but of course there is a bit of knocking of the Tories. They do get a side bar, unlike the Tories, but theirs is of course a tiny snippet when
compared with the larger sidebar on Labour's page.
3 main parties. 3 completely different levels of coverage. Balanced? I think not.
Here are the links to each article on the BBC News website:
For Cameron: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/8431899.stm
For Clegg: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/8433904.stm
For Brown: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/8434137.stm
I note since yesterday (http://beebbiascraig.blogspot.com/2009/12/bbc-fairly-reports-browns-great-new.html) that the 'Throw of Dice' subheading on the Brown article (relating to a comment by Conservative Chris Grayling) has now been cut, replaced instead by more words from Brown: 'Go for growth'. (At least, unlike Fairly Shared - which has survived the re-write - the webpage editor has put this in inverted commas!).
On a related matter, take a look at this BBC News website article, Scotland's politicians outline aims for 2010, and look at the order in which Scotland's leaders are placed:
1. Alex Salmond (SNP)
2. Iain Gray (Labour)
3. Tavish Scott (Liberal Democrat)
4. Annabel Goldie (Conservative)
This, however, is how Scottish voters (at the last Holyrood election in 2007) have ranked the parties:
4. Liberal Democrat
Have the Conservatives been dumped below the Lib Dems because of their share of the vote/number of seats won at the 2005 general election? Is this why the article ranked the parties as it did? Possibly - or possibly not, as this was the result in 2005:
2. Liberal Democrat
So why place the Scottish Tories fourth in the pecking order, rather than the Lib Dems? Not a major point of course, but revealing nonetheless.