The rise of a proactive local media strategy in british political communication: Clear continuities and evolutionary change 1966-2001

This source preferred by Darren Lilleker

Authors: Negrine, R. and Lilleker, D.

http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content?content=10.1080/1461670032000074793

Journal: Journalism Studies

Volume: 4

Pages: 199-211

ISSN: 1461-670X

DOI: 10.1080/1461670032000074793

Literature on electioneering, political communication and political marketing all suggest that political campaigns are nationally orchestrated, centrally controlled and highly professional; all of which highlight a strong contrast with studies of similar areas thirty years ago. However, evidence based on interviews with current and former MPs and candidates tell a very different story; instead there are strong continuities between the activities pursued during elections in the period 1966-70 and those in the period 1997-2001. There is a greater level of technological support as well as changes in the way the media handle political stories. But the ways that candidates build a profile and gain media coverage are almost identical across this thirty-year period. The key questions this paper poses are: Can we describe political campaigning as a purely centralised activity? Can we describe current electoral candidates as more professional? Is there a clear dichotomy between the activities engaged in thirty years ago and those of the present time?

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Authors: Negrine, R. and Lilleker, D.

Journal: Journalism Studies

Volume: 4

Issue: 2

Pages: 199-211

eISSN: 1469-9699

ISSN: 1461-670X

DOI: 10.1080/1461670032000074793

Literature on electioneering, political communication and political marketing all suggest that political campaigns are nationally orchestrated, centrally controlled and highly professional; all of which highlight a strong contrast with studies of similar areas thirty years ago. However, evidence based on interviews with current and former MPs and candidates tell a very different story; instead there are strong continuities between the activities pursued during elections in the period 1966-70 and those in the period 1997-2001. There is a greater level of technological support as well as changes in the way the media handle political stories. But the ways that candidates build a profile and gain media coverage are almost identical across this thirty-year period. The key questions this paper poses are: Can we describe political campaigning as a purely centralised activity? Can we describe current electoral candidates as more professional? Is there a clear dichotomy between the activities engaged in thirty years ago and those of the present time? © 2003 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

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