Political Campaigns and Political Advertising: A Media Literacy Guide

Political Campaigns and Political Advertising: A Media Literacy Guide

Political Campaigns and Political Advertising: A Media Literacy Guide

Political Campaigns and Political Advertising: A Media Literacy Guide


Examining political campaigns and political advertising through the analytical lens of media literacy, this well-illustrated and timely handbook guides readers through the maze of blandishments and spin that is the hallmark of the modern political campaign. It dissects the persuasive strategies embedded in the political messages we encounter every day in the media and demonstrates the importance of critical thinking in evaluating media stories. Key concepts of media literacy are applied to political advertising in traditional media (newspapers, television, radio) and on the Internet, the new frontier of the political advertising wars. Dealing with blogs, social networking, user-generated Web sites, and other electronic formats familiar to young voters, this lively introduction to the new world of political messaging appeals to readers' affinity for visual learning as well as their ability to discern messages in text.

Unique in applying media literacy concepts to the political context while directly addressing students and general readers, this book not only explains but graphically demonstrates both established techniques of political framing and the new avenues of persuasion being pioneered in digital media. It will also interest viewers who like their political news in traditional media but unconventional formats.


So who won? Your guy? the other guy? Some guy? Not your gal? Who cares? What difference does it make? They’ll be gone in four or eight years, right? I mean, like, how much harm can one person do? and let’s be real here, we all know politics is just so BORING! Ya think? Maybe the real question is not who won, but how … not who lost, but WHY—and then, perhaps, it’s not so boring. I mean, what does the word even mean?

Boring? Compared to what? To Ludacris, to Paris, or to Britney? They all ended up as part of the 2008 presidential campaign. Part coronation, part celebration, political conventions these days pull out all the bells and whistles necessary to gain and maintain the attention of the audience, whose attention span may well have been diminished over the years by constant exposure to flickering screens. So the Democrats in Denver gave us performers Sheryl Crow, Stevie Wonder, and will.i.am, the hip-hop artist whose tribute to Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama, “Yes We Can,” generated millions of hits on YouTube. and oh, yes, we got fireworks, just like in the Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, China —not to mention the location of the convention finale in Mile High Stadium. More like a symphony than a speech, gushed one commentator, while others noted that Obama’s speech owed something to media creator Aaron Sorkin and his fictitious presidents in television’s The West Wing and the motion picture The American President. That’s entertainment!

So what about you? Would you rather read a page of print or look at a screen? If you’re in your late teens or early twenties and you’re reading this book, there may be something radically wrong. So turn off your iPod, you multitasker you, and pay attention.

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