It seems Kevin Rudd isn't the only one concerned about the fairness of media coverage this federal election.

The industry body that handles complaints about Australian newspapers has written to the editors of every metropolitan daily to stress the difference between facts and opinions.

In response to concerns from the public and the industry itself, the Australian Press Council on Friday wrote to remind editors about its advisory guideline on election reporting.

The council's chair Professor Julian Disney said the guidelines, established in 2009, upheld the right of newspapers to favour the election of one particular party over another.

But any newspaper claiming to inform readers about political matters were obliged to present "a reasonably comprehensive and accurate account of public issues".

"As a result, the council believes that it is essential that a clear distinction be drawn between reporting the facts and stating opinion," Prof Disney wrote.

"A paper's editorial viewpoints and its advocacy of them must be kept separate from its news columns."

It comes as ABC's Media Watch on Monday scrutinised the election coverage of newspapers owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp.

Mr Rudd, who has questioned the impartiality of News Corp publications several times this campaign, said the Media Watch episode warranted a "long close look" when it came to fairness of reporting.

"You know what is at stake there? It's the lifeblood of democracy," Mr Rudd told reporters on Tuesday.

"It is about a fair contest of ideas. It's about a fair go for everybody."

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott said the prime minister had to learn to deal with criticism.

"If you want better coverage, be a better government," he said.

Prof Disney said the council had received "well over" 100 complaints this election, but warned against reading into the figures too much.

The council would have eventually issued this letter regardless of the controversy about election coverage, he added.

"Certainly, the range of concerns coming from a number of different sources made it even more desirable," he told AAP.

 

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