Mass communication lies at the heart of political discourse. It informs governments and citizens, it defines the limits of expression (fewer in democracies than in authoritarian states), and it provides us with ‘mental maps’ of the political world outside our direct experience. The technology of mass political communication has changed dramatically over the past century, taking us from a time when newspapers dominated to the era of broadcasting (first radio and then television), and bringing us to the age of the internet, with instant information in unparalleled quantities from numerous sources, at least for the half of the world’s households that currently have access. As technology has changed, so have the dynamics of political communication; conveying and receiving news is increasingly interactive, with consumers playing a critical role in defining what constitutes ‘the news’.
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- Political Communication
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- Chapter 14