• Revision:Influence of the Media

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Media Impact

  • To many, the media is their only source of information on political issues
  • Broadcasting media must be politically neutral
  • Broadcaster don’t report from 0600-close of poll on day of election
  • Surveys show up to 2/3 people believe Party Political broadcasts affect voting behaviour
  • Publicity, e.g. number of times a leader appears on television, can influence voters
  • Parties can complain about bias on television
  • TV can boost image without making any difference to the election

- e.g. Kinnock had better TV image in 92, Major still won

  • 52% saw hardly any coverage before the 2001 election, BBC reviewed coverage amid fears it would be “dumbing down”.
  • TV covers House of Commons, Welsh Assembly and Holyrood, but how many watch?
  • In recent elections, newspapers thought to have had a strong influence

- Press given credit for winning the 92 election for the Tories - 60% of newspapers backed Labour in 97

  • In 2001, Sun, Express, Mirror, Guardian, Daily Record all backed Labour.

Daily Mail, Telegraph - Tories Independent - Lib Dem

  • Press use headline campaigns for or against politicians or issues
  • In 2001, press coverage reflected “presidential campaign” I.e. centred around personalities rather than parties or issues
  • Influence of spin doctors e.g. Peter Mandelson

- can backfire e.g. 9/11 being “a good day to bury bad news”

  • Labour dropping internet pop-up campaign after suggestions it backfired in the US election
  • Influence of media/internet revolution may have an effect on politics

- difficult to regulate output - difficult to maintain political neutrality

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