Politics and the Mass Media in Britain

Politics and the Mass Media in Britain

Politics and the Mass Media in Britain

Politics and the Mass Media in Britain

Synopsis

This fully-updated new edition of Politics and the Mass Media provides a comprehensive introduction to the role of mass communications in politics at all levels, from election campaigns, news reports and lobbying groups to the media activities of pressure groups.The relationship between politics, politicians and the media is a matter of increasingly contentious debate, as politicians' awareness of the importance of the media becomes more sophisticated amidst rapidly-advancing media technology and control.Providing a review of the nature and content of political communications and of recent theoretical developments, Negrine addresses the issues surrounding today's mass media, including cable and satellite television, investigation of the press, the relationship between the state and broadcasing institutions and the ever-present question of whether or not Britain needs a media policy. This new edition includes:* Case studies from television and the press* Fully revised text with updated sections on the press, broadcasting and media legislation* Brand new chapters on Europe and globalisation

Excerpt

This book examines the political role of the mass media in contemporary Britain. It covers the main features of the press and television in Britain and, with extensive use of examples, develops an analysis of their relationships with 'politics' and political and social institutions, and the implications of those relationships.

The definition of politics adopted throughout this book is a broad one, namely, that 'politics creates and conditions all aspects of our lives and it is at the core of the development of problems in society and the collective modes of their resolution.' The reason for adopting such a broad definition is that politics and political discourse infuse all aspects of our lives and the mass media play a key role in this process of political communication. Thus, the study of the mass media and elections sits alongside the study of pressure groups' use of the modern means of mass communicaion.

Although the book deals with a broad definition of politics, it adopts a more restricted register of mass media. The two most often cited sources of information about the world-television and the press-take pride of place in this book. And within those two media, attention is mainly focused on those aspects of the media which are overtly political-either in content or in their implications. Thus, for example, television news and current affairs feature prominently while light entertainment does not; similarly, more attention is paid to 'political' stories in the press than to stories which highlight the sexual peccadilloes of television superstars.

The decision to focus on these areas should not be taken as a dismissal of the other output, nor of their classification as 'non-political'. In their own, and very important ways, the entertainment format, the James Bond film, and the representations of the life and loves of Samantha Fox, are steeped in political implications. Our concern, however, is with the processes, relationships, and structures of political (mass) communication. This orientation towards the more traditionally defined 'political' content of the mass media also explains the absence of any discussion of women's magazines, pop music radio stations or popular films. Again, it is not the absence of 'political' implications that has ruled them out but the specific perspective

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