How influential is the media on votingPresentation Transcript
How influential is the media on voting? SCLY3: Power & Politics
Media Theory – ‘Manipulative Theory’
The mass media is controlled by an elite who use it to preserve elite rule
New Labour’s rebranding under Tony Blair made the Labour Party more acceptable to the dominant elite?
Those who edit/write for newspapers & are involved in broadcasting have particular views due to their shared education, class, age.
Remember Ralph Miliband?
They write from a particular perspective unconscious of bias.
BBC and others are part of the establishment that accept the dominant ideology of the state.
Consider the current economic climate, the dominant ideology of society says that debt is bad and should be paid off at all costs and the main media outlets don’t challenge this. There are many other ways of tackling an economic crisis, these aren’t considered.
Media Theory – ‘Hegemonic Theory’
There is a range of media output
Individuals are rational, educated & adult
Media reflects opinion, rather than shapes it.
Media Theory – ‘Pluralist Theory’
Press is not legally required to be impartial
Papers indicate support during election campaigns.
e.g. The Sun in 1992
Neil Kinnock claimed that his unexpected defeat in 1992 was a direct result of the Sun’s campaign against him .
Rupert Murdoch was actively courted by New Labour and the Conservatives in general elections between 1997 and 2010.
Paul Whitely estimates that the Sun’s support for New Labour in 1997 lost Conservatives 500,000 votes which had a massive impact in key marginals.
The influence of News International’s empire has been seen as bad for democracy. The relative impunity in which they operate has been highlighted by the News of the World’s phone hacking affair.
Media Bias – ‘The Press’
BBC and ITV controlled by Royal Charter and TV and Broadcasting Acts – they are supposed to maintain neutrality.
What is impartiality?
Right to respond, equal air time, quality news coverage
However, does TV and radio follow an agenda set by tabloid newspapers?
Media Bias – ‘Broadcasting’
Glasgow University Media Group
GUMG studied TV news coverage of industrial disputes through 1970s and 1980s.
They found that TV news were far more likely to reflect dominant ideology, anti-union values and assumptions.
E.g. Striker violence always emphasised over police violence
Political weighted language used to describe union activity: ‘ pointless strike’, ‘trouble makers’.
Management always given more news coverage than union officials.
The media is undoubtedly politically biased
Newspapers traditionally tend to support Conservatives, support for Labour only really came about when Blair moved the party to the centre
Has this support continued under Ed Miliband?
Broadcasters promise balanced coverage but are biased in favour of dominant ideology
Labour has won elections since getting the backing of mass media but is this at the expense of ditching their traditional policies and principles?