Performance, Politics, and Media: How the 2010 British General Election Leadership Debates Generated "Talk" Among the Electorate

This source preferred by Dan Jackson

Authors: Scullion, R., Jackson, D. and Molesworth, M.

http://eprints.bournemouth.ac.uk/16547/

Journal: Journal of Political Marketing

Volume: 12

Issue: 2-3

Pages: 226-243

ISSN: 1537-7857

DOI: 10.1080/15377857.2013.781476

During the British General Election 2010 a major innovation was introduced in part to improve engagement: a series of three live televised leadership debates took place where the leader of each of the three main parties, Labour, Liberal Democrat and Conservative, answered questions posed by members of the public and subsequently debated issues pertinent to the questions. In this study we consider these potentially ground breaking debates as the kind of event that was likely to generate discussion. We investigate various aspects of the ‘talk’ that emerged as a result of watching the debates. As an exploratory study concerned with situated accounts of the participants experiences we take an interpretive perspective. In this paper we outline the meta-narratives (of talk) associated with the viewing of the leadership debates that were identified, concluding our analysis by suggesting that putting a live debate on television and promoting and positioning it as a major innovation is likely to mean that is how the audience will make sense of it – as a media event.

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Authors: Scullion, R., Jackson, D. and Molesworth, M.

http://eprints.bournemouth.ac.uk/16547/

Journal: Journal of Political Marketing

Volume: 12

Issue: 2-3

Pages: 226-243

eISSN: 1537-7865

ISSN: 1537-7857

DOI: 10.1080/15377857.2013.781476

During the British General Election 2010, a major innovation was introduced in part to improve engagement: A series of three live-televised leadership debates took place in which the leader of each of the three main parties-Labour, Liberal Democrat, and Conservative-answered questions posed by members of the public and subsequently debated issues pertinent to the questions. In this study, we consider these potentially ground-breaking debates as the kind of event that was likely to generate discussion. We investigate various aspects of the "talk" that emerged as a result of watching the debates. As an exploratory study concerned with situated accounts of the participants' experiences, we take an interpretive perspective. In this paper we outline the meta-narratives (of talk) associated with the viewing of the leadership debates that were identified, concluding our analysis by suggesting that putting a live debate on television and promoting and positioning it as a major innovation is likely to mean that is how the audience will make sense of it: as a media event. © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

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