An Introduction to Political Communication, 3rd Edition by Brian McNair

By Brian McNair

An advent to Political conversation explores the connection among politics, the media and democracy within the united kingdom, america and different modern societies. Brian McNair examines how politicians, exchange unions, strain teams, non-governmental agencies and terrorist corporations utilize the media. Separate chapters examine political media and their results, the paintings of political ads, advertising and marketing and public relatives and the conversation practices of corporations in any respect degrees, from grassroots campaigning via to governments and foreign bodies.Recent advancements lined within the re-creation include:* the re-election of latest Labour in 2001* the alterations in govt info and communique coverage brought through the Blair management considering the fact that 1997* the 2000 election of George W. Bush within the usa* the NATO interventions in Kosovo and the previous Yugoslavia* the consequences for overseas political conversation of September eleven* the emergence of Al-Quaida and the struggle on terror.

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Just as a thermometer alters the 33 POLITICS IN THE AGE OF MEDIATION temperature of the air around it, so a public opinion poll becomes part of the data upon which individuals calculate their future political moves. Voting behaviour A second way in which the effects of political communication can be measured is to observe patterns in actual voting behaviour. Such evidence is clearly more tangible than opinion poll data, and frequently contradicts the former (as in the 1992 general election, when most opinion polls failed to predict a Conservative victory).

Research cited by Diamond and Bates supports the ‘uses and gratifications’ thesis that the effects of political advertising (in which category we include British party political broadcasts) are heavily conditioned by the existing political attitudes of the audience. They note that ‘some supporters of a particular candidate tend to project their views on to the candidate’s advertising – they will hear what they want to hear, almost regardless of what the favoured candidate says. A number of studies have concluded that few people actually change votes due to political advertising’ (1984, p.

This laboratory-based approach is a much-used tool of behavioural effects research, frequently employed, for example, 34 THE EFFECTS OF POLITICAL COMMUNICATION in the study of sexually explicit or violent material. The methodological objections to it are, once again, those of interpretation and contextualisation. Can a laboratory experiment, no matter how sensitively prepared, really reproduce the complex political environment in which individuals make their decisions? Can it compensate for the weight of cultural and social resonances that will accompany a political message in the real world?

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