Communication Consultants in Political Campaigns: Ballot Box Warriors

By Robert V. Friedenberg | Go to book overview

Chapter 5
Newspaper and Radio Consultants: The Artillery Corps of the Ballot Box Wars

Like television consultants, those consultants who help candidates maximize their effective use of newspapers and radio are working with media that are used by large audiences. As indicated earlier, though television has become the dominant medium of political campaigning, prior to the late 1950s and early 1960s, the dominant media were newspapers and radio. Although these media have been eclipsed by television, they nevertheless remain important in the conduct of contemporary campaigns. Hence, in this chapter we will examine the work of consultants who provide newspaper and radio expertise to campaigns.


THE RESURGENCE OF NEWSPAPERS AS A POLITICAL MEDIUM

As indicated in the first chapter, newspapers were used from the earliest days of American campaigning; today, they are not as widely used. In recent years they have been perceived to lack the major characteristics of their competitors. On one hand, many campaigns feel that newspapers lack the immediacy, flexibility, and impact of radio and television. On the other, it is widely believed that they lack the ability to target and personalize messages that are claimed for direct mail and phones. It is little wonder that the popularity of newspapers as a political medium has diminished in the last four decades.

However, in recent years, in part as a consequence of improved technology, newspapers are poised to make a comeback as a political medium. Although it is unlikely that they will ever attain their former dominance, Ralph Murphine, a longtime consultant and recent President

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