The Media and Political Process / Edition 2

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This fully revised new edition of The Media and Political Process assesses the impact of spin doctoring and media activity in liberal democracies that are just as concerned with impression management and public relations as with policy. Political processes never stand still, and this revised second edition explores the mediatization of the political process in light of recent developments, from Vladimir Putin’s growth into a political celebrity, to the activities of spin doctors in the 2008 US Presidential Elections.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
This is a timely new edition of Louw's accessible and comprehensive book. It will make essential reading for students and teachers of political media
Brian Mc Nair
Professor of Journalism & Communication, University of Strathclyde

This is a reflective, thorough and welcome overview of the field. It carefully considers the dynamic relationships between the media and political spheres and will therefore be highly valuable to students seeking to understand and analyse developments
Dominic Wring
Reader in Political Communication, Loughborough University

For more than 300 years media and politics in the western world have been complex institutions and the subjects of numerous works. In this book Dr Louw has successfully drawn together the various strands that create politics and media, providing an enjoyable narrative that demonstrates his strong understanding of the roles they play in modern socioeconomic policy and processes. This second edition makes a vital contribution to the way we view media and politics at the beginning of what promises to be an exciting century
Richard Stanton
Senior Lecturer, The University of Sydney

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781848604476
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications
  • Publication date: 3/12/2010
  • Edition description: Second Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 232
  • Sales rank: 1,078,250
  • Product dimensions: 6.60 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Eric Louw is Deputy Head of School & Director of Communication Programs, School of Journalism & Communication, University of Queensland.

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Table of Contents

List of Abbreviations vii

1 Introduction 1

The media as 'a mirror' 2

Being skeptical 5

Towards a critical constructivist approach to political communication 5

The constructivist approach 6

2 Politics: Image Versus Substance 8

What is Politics? 8

Politics: Hype and Substance 14

The Media as a Power Resource 18

The Game of Political Impression Management 19

What is Media-ized Politics? 23

3 Western Political Development: An Evolving Symbiosis of Media and Politics 27

The Origins of Liberal Democracy 28

The Early Anglo Model 29

The Massification of Liberal Democracy 34

Managing Democracy: Taming Western Publics 40

The Media's Evolving Role in Liberal Governance 42

Liberal Democracy and the Public Sphere 45

4 Political Media Practice: An Outline 47

From Fourth Estate to Sensationalized Watchdogism 48

News as Entertaining Spectacle 53

Constructing the News Window 1: Journalistic Practices 58

Constructing the News Window 2: Choosing Sources 63

Constructing the News Window 3: Newsroom Struggles 67

Institutionalizing the Media-Politician Relationship 68

Journalists: Watchdogs or Symbiotic Partners? 71

Journalistic 'Power' 73

5 Spin-doctoring: The Art of Political Public Relations 75

The Rise of PR Professionals as Political Players 76

Changes to the Political Process 81

The Innovators of PR-ized Politics 85

The Normalization of PR-ized Politics 93

What is Political PR? 102

The Tools of Political PR 106

6 Selling Politicians and Creating Celebrity 109

Constructing Celebrity 111

The Game: Playing to a Televisual Audience 115

Genres of Political Celebrity 118

7 Selling Political Policies and Beliefs 128

Worldviews 129

Making Worldviews 131

Popularizing Worldviews 135

The Function of Worldviews 137

8 Selling War/Selling Peace 141

The Era of Mass Consent for Mass Killing 142

Vietnam: A Televised Non-censored War 148

The PR-ization of Warfare 150

Nintendo Warfare 153

The Iraq War 156

Selling Peace 162

9 The Media and Terrorism 166

Terrorism as Communication 168

Terrorist Audiences 169

Fighting Terrorism 172

Terrorism and the Media 175

10 The Media and Foreign Relations 178

The CNN Effect 178

Foreign Policy Making: The Players 180

The Media and Foreign Relations 184

The Media-ized Dimension of Foreign Relations 191

11 Conclusion: Searching for Answers (and Questions) 194

What Is Media-ization 194

The Routines and Practices of Media-ized Politics 195

Creating Hype Politics 196

When Things Go Wrong for Spin-doctors 198

Hype Politics: A System in Trouble or a System Re-inventing Itself? 200

Is Media-ization Bad? 204

Glossary 205

References 218

Index 227

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