Mapping the production of political communications: a model to assist in understanding the relationships between the production and consumption of political messages
Journal: Journal of Public Affairs
High public interest today in political communications such as ‘spin’ and in political participation such as electoral turnout suggests that there may be value in exploring the processes by which political messages are produced and consumed, and their inter-relationship with participation. It may be that what citizen-voters think of message production influences how they consume political news and publicity (through observing and evaluating), and that the propensity to political participation is subsequently affected.
This paper offers a model which traces the production of political communications, starting at their origins in the political class, and flowing via traditional political journalism or controlled media and new media to citizen-voters who both observe and evaluate them (ie consume them) before, during and after making any political choices. It is hypothesised that the observation and evaluation of message production and content by political consumers influences both their types and levels of participation.
Research of this nature into political organisations is relatively rare. Similarly, there is little evidence of investigations into other aspects highlighted in the model: attitudes of the political class towards political communications, the production of political communications before they reach the media and how they are received by the media, and their consumption by citizen-voters in relation to the propensity to participate in politics.