Most people experience party politics indirectly through the lens of the media. Parties have long recognised the importance of media management and their efforts to do so have included, for instance, the appointment of well-known so-called ‘spin doctors’ such as Peter Mandelson and Alastair Campbell for Labour and Andy Coulson for the Conservatives. Such efforts at media management extend well beyond the traditional campaigning period immediately preceding elections. Moreover, parties have also sought to expand their communication activities by exploiting the new media opportunities offered by the internet. This chapter looks broadly at the relationship between parties and various media. Discussion revolves around five sections. The first provides a theoretical grounding by briefly outlining models of political communication. The second section introduces the structure of the press and broadcast media and assesses how this impacts upon partisanship. The third section evaluates the professionalisation of political communication activity within the parties, both in government and opposition. The parties are convinced of the importance of the internet in communicating to electors.
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- Parties and the Media
Dr Alistair Clark
- Macmillan Education UK
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