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16th January 2019
David Benigson

The UK news in 2018: Brexit, Brexit and a bit more Brexit

Using Signal AI, our AI-powered media monitoring and intelligence tool we aggregated, categorised, analysed and ranked the biggest news stories in 2018 as reported by the UK media.

There’s no prize for guessing that Brexit was the most hotly discussed and debated topic last year and took the number one spot based on the volume of media mentions (2,352,000). Brexit news was relentless throughout the year, from economists gloomy predictions on the impact to the UK economy in the FT on January 1st through to the widespread reporting of the PM’s plea for MP’s to back her plan in her New Year message on December 31st. There wasn’t a single day when Brexit didn’t hit the headlines, and in total, Brexit stories accounted for 4.7% of all news generated by UK media sources in 2018. By contrast, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding – ranked 8th place in the report – was the subject of 182,000 articles which represented 0.4% of all UK news stories.

In the chart below you can see the volume of articles on Brexit throughout the year.

Number of Brexit articles during 2018

Brexit overshadowed all other news. According to the press, no area of British life remained untouched by the EU divorce plans: our borders and businesses, education and the economy, fishing and foreign policy, hospitals and above all else hopes for clarity and stability.

One thing is certain there’s no hope of news on the topic abating with the ‘meaningful vote’ seeing a landslide defeat to May’s Brexit plans and the Government facing a vote of no confidence this evening. In the last 7-days alone there have been over 123,000 Brexit stories in the UK media – see chart below.

Number of Brexit stories in Jan 2019

To read more about how Brexit featured in the news in 2018 plus the other 99 top stories in the UK media you can download the That Was The News 2018 report here.

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