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Political communication

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Political communication
Political communication
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Political communication

  1. 1. Definition of Communication: Bogardus defined communication as “interaction in terms of a stimulus or a gesture by one person which produces a response in the form of a verbal or silent symbol by a second person’’ (cited on Syams, N.W. 2009: 14) As long as there is other people, man can not not communicating (Even the silence of someone –or the state of being silent-- is a form of communication) Sender-Message-Receiver (noise, channel, feedback) S-O-R-(C) Symbolic interactionism
  2. 2. Definition of Politics: Harold Lasswell  "Politics is the process of who gets what, when, and how.“ David Easton  "A political system can be designated as those interactions through which values are authoritatively allocated for a society.“ Max Weber  "A political association exists if ... the enforcement of its order is carried out continually within a given territorial area by the application and threat of physical force.” Robert Dahl  "A political system is any persistent pattern of human relationships that involves ... power, rule, or authority."
  3. 3. Definition of Political communication: Denton and Woodward (1990: 14) Pure discussion about the allocation of public resources (revenuews), official authority (who is given the power to make legal, legislative and executive decision), and official sanctions (what the state rewards or punishes)  Emphasizing rhetoric, sidelining symbolic communication acts Graber (1981) Political communication is political language which “comprises of rhetoric as well as paralinguistic signs such as body language, and political acts such as boycotts and protests” (cited on McNair 2003) McNair (2003: 4) Purposeful communication about politics  All forms of communication undertaken by politicians and other political actors for the purpose of achieving specific objectives  Communication addressed to these actors by non-politicians such as voters and newspaper columnists  Communication about these actors and their activities, as contained in news reports, editorials, and other forms of media discussion of politics (p. 4)
  4. 4. Celebrity What is it about celebrities that drives everyone ga-ga? Besides an accident of genetics that endows them with the ability to wiggle their hips, sing off-key, get drunker than skunks, or dance with the stars, what exactly is it that celebrities bring to the table? Are they morally and ethically superior to ordinary humans? Have any of them replaced a big rig transmission or invented a new way to prevent heartburn?
  5. 5. Celebrity Schickel (1986) defined celebrity as ‘intimate strangers’ (Hughes-Freeland 2007: p. 5). This definition combines the physical and socio-economic distance between celebrity and the general public and the psychological and emotional proximity between the two (Hughes-Freeland 2007: p. 5). The intimacy that comes from almost any aspect of the celebrity, according to Franklin (1997) makes them perceived as “more newsworthy” than any reports with more significant issues and impacts (p. 4). Rojek (2001) categories celebrity into three types: 'ascribed‟ celebrity are those who gained their fame through their lineage such as aristocrats; „achieved‟ celebrity who obtained their fame through a proven talents and capabilities either through competition or works, and „attributed‟ celebrity that is “based on the workings of cultural intermediaries to look like „achieved celebrity‟ while being a constructed representation of it” (pp: 17–20). Celebrities that developed their fame through widely published scandals or controversies are the extreme example of 'attributed' celebrity. They usually obtained less social respect eventhough secured immense gossip and popular attention “and are normally short lived” (Hughes-Freeland 2007: p. 5).
  6. 6. Celebrity Daniel J. Boorstin in his seminal study The Image suggested that the celebrity is a person who is “well-known for his well-knownness”  often paraphrased as “a celebrity is someone famous for being famous.” The celebrity is the “human pseudo-event” (anything about him/her ‘must’ be newsworthy) The differences between celebrity and hero: Boorstin  1) “The hero was distinguished by his achievement; the celebrity by his image or trademark.” 2) “The hero created himself; the celebrity is created by the media.” 3) “The hero was a big man; the celebrity is a big name.” Politicians, the ones who should be hero, are often too busy to be celebrity and forget to act as heroes.
  7. 7. Celebrification Joshua Gamson  „the celebrification process‟  “the acquisition by political leaders of the traits, conversational codes and presentational skills developed by Hollywood.” The Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism  Celebrification is a term to describe “a phenomenon seemingly rampant in the Philippine political landscape during elections –celebrities help politicians to be more popular, celebrities endorse candidates during election campaigning, and celebrities themselves become politicians wanting to serve the country” (PCIJ 2007)
  8. 8. Celebrification: A Deliberate Mediated Planned Process  Using news-worthy / camera-friendly activities Bombastic, hyperbolic, sy mbolic  has a ‘vote-gathering’ power Media Darling
  9. 9. Media Darling: Concepts Those who gained continual positive coverage by the media
  10. 10. Celebrification Reports on personal-related issues Tabloidization (concepts) Personal-related issues, even the scandals, are regarded as more important than the policy
  11. 11. In order to be celebrity (or to gain enough fame to be recognized by the people), some political actors do the “Self-imaging”  deliberate action(s) aimed at projecting good and/or beneficial self-image
  12. 12. Why do we need to creat and maintain positive self-image? 1. Communication is S-O-R 2. Man reacts based on what they perceived as the „right‟ thing (right thing to do, right thing to fulfill his/her interest, etc) 3. Decision-making often influenced by past experiences and individual as well as communal values These means that cultivating a good image is important and strategic
  13. 13. Factors taken into account in developing positive self-image 1. The projected (intended) image 2. Community/target‟s values Be aware of the content (message) to be delivered and the way of delivering it
  14. 14. Ways (Strategies) in developing positive self- image 1. Inline with community‟s values 2. Less likely to trigger conflict 3. Media-friendly message and package
  15. 15. How to measure self-imaging?  Congruency between the actor’s intented image and image built in people mind  (Positive) top of mind
  16. 16. Public Sphere German sociologist, Jürgen Habermas  “By the public sphere we mean first of all a realm of our social life in which something approaching public opinion can be formed.... Citizens behave as a public body when they confer in an unrestricted fashion – that is, within the guarantee of freedom of assembly and association and the freedom to express and publish their opinions” (cited in Pusey 1978: 89)
  17. 17. Public Sphere Gripsund  “a set of institutions representing a sort of ‘buffer zone’ between the state/king and private sphere, to protect them from arbitrary decisions that interfered with what they considered private activities in an irrational way” (1992: 89).  The press in particular ‘was to function as an instrument or a forum for the enlightened, rational, critical, and unbiased public discussion of what the common interests were in matters of culture and politics’ (ibid.) Josef Ernst  “distinctive discursive space” within which “individuals are combined so as to be able to assume the role of a politically powerful force” (1988: 47). McNair (2003: 21) “the bourgeois realm of politics” (Ernst 1988: 47) which has gradually expanded from its elitist beginnings to include absolute majorities of the population in modern democratic societies.
  18. 18. Public Sphere McNair  The public sphere, as can be seen, comprises in essence the communicative institutions of a society, through which facts and opinions circulate and by means of which a common stock of knowledge is built up as the basis for collective political action (2003: 20-21) Hence, the mass media, which since the eighteenth century have evolved into the main source and focus of a society’s shared experience played a significant role in the public sphere (McNair: 2003: 20-21).
  19. 19. Public Opinion Media became the most influential actor in influencing public opinion. According to Habermas, the first use of the term ‘public opinion’ was documented in 1781, referring to “the critical reflection of a [bourgeois] public competent to form its own judgments” (Pusey 1978: 90).
  20. 20. Generally, the media is the most influential actor in determining public opinion. Other actors are pressure groups Pressure groups Pressure groups “have been credited with having developed new styles of political activism, the so-called ‘new politics’ – popular protests, marches, sit-ins, direct action, and so on – that has proved to be attractive to a growing body of young people disillusioned by ‘conventional’ politics”*. Conventional politics: politics through parliament by means of political parties
  21. 21. Group Interests Pressure groups and political parties “Pressure groups and political parties have much in common. They are the two main bodies through which the public’s views and interests are channelled to government. As such, both of them carry out representation, facilitate political participation and contribute to the policy process. However, on the face of it, groups and parties are very different beasts” (
  22. 22. Group Interests A pressure group is an organized group of people which aims to influence the policies or actions of government. Pressure groups are defined by three key features: 1) They seek to exert influence from outside, rather than to win or exercise government power. Pressure groups do not make policy decisions, but rather try to influence those who do (the policy-makers). In that sense, they are ‘external’ to government. 2) They typically have a narrow issue focus. In some cases, they may focus on a single issue (for instance opposing a planned road development). 3) Their members are united by either a shared belief in a particular cause or a common set of interests. People with different ideological and party preferences may thus work happily together as members of the same pressure group. (
  23. 23. Group Interests Examples of Pressure Groups: Indonesia 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. International 1. 2. 3. 4.
  24. 24. The Flow of Political Interests and Influence in Democratic Landscape (Achmad Supardi) Interest Groups ------------------Spheres of Influence-----------Target of Influence Media Pressure Groups Structural Political (NGOs, Associations) Representatives (Parliament) Lobby groups Media Citizens Political Party Political Party Politicians Feedback (Input Feedback and Vote) (Input)
  25. 25. Media and Public Discourse The scheme above indicated that media hold two positions: 1) Media as one of interest groups 2) Media as public sphere of discourse Media as ‘disseminators’ as well as ‘directors’ ** Media Ideology  determines the choices of topics and editorial policy  political stance ** Media Ownership  the owner’s interest and future goals Public Discourse  Anti-Trust Regulations
  26. 26. Democracy and Media Democracy A political system which enacted and implemented by the people and directed to serve the people. Media crucial in a democratic society because democracy presumes ‘an open state in which people are allowed to participate in decision-making, and are given access to the media, and other information networks through which advocacy occurs’ (Hauser cited in Cooper 1991: 42).
  27. 27. Democracy provides equal chance for anyone to participate (read: to compete) in the process. Hence, the possibility and opportunity for people to fulfill their needs and interest are not equal.
  28. 28. The Failure of Democratic System 1. The failure of democratic system 2. The absent of choices 3. Manufacture of consent 4. Pseudo events 5. The limitation of objectivity
  29. 29. The Failure of Democratic System Democracy  people decide Who are ‘the people’  the majority as reflected through the result of General Elections How if the majority of eligible voters do not use their right to vote? Are the ones chosen in General Election reflected the choice of majority of the people?
  30. 30. The Absent of Choices A further limitation on democracy is the absence of genuine choice or pluralism.  Many parties, however they are hardly different “ Even in Britain, where the Labour and Conservative parties have traditionally been distinct ideologically, the 1990s saw a coming together of agendas and q policies on many social, economic and foreign policy matters. In the 1997 general election, ‘New Labour’ unashamedly adopted many of what had previously been viewed (including by most members of the Labour Party itself) as right-wing Conservative policies, such as privatisation of the air traffic control system. In doing so, New Labour proclaimed itself at the ‘radical centre’ of British politics, emulating the Clinton administration’s 1996 re-election strategy of ideological ‘triangulation’ (Morris,1997 cited in McNair 2003: 24). Triangulation in the US, like Labour’s radical centrism, meant taking what was popular and common-sensical from the freemarket right (such as the reduction of ‘big government’), while adhering to the core social democratic values of social justice and equality of opportunity.
  31. 31. Manufacture of Consent Despite the failure of democratic system and the absent of choices, there are also media-related downfall, namely the manufacture of consent (Walter Lippmann1954: 245). Remember: The legitimacy of liberal democratic government is founded on the consent of the governed (the people). The problem is that the consent of the governed is not the original consent of the people, but the manufactured one. Who manufacture people’s consent?  Mostly Media
  32. 32. Manufacture of Consent Politicians combined the techniques of social psychology with the immense reach of mass media. Persuasion or Manipulation? To inform or to direct?
  33. 33. Pseudo-Events Pseudo-events (coined by Daniel Boorstin in 1962)  the increasing tendency of news and journalistic media to cover ‘unreal’, unauthentic ‘happenings’. (Unauthentic events which deliberately created/managed in order to convey a certain message and/or to reach a specific goal) This tendency, he argued, was associated with the rise from the nineteenth century onwards of the popular press and a correspondingly dramatic increase in the demand for news material. ‘As the costs of printing and then broadcasting increased, it became financially necessary to keep the presses always at work and the TV screen always busy. Pressures towards the making of pseudo-events became ever stronger. Newsgathering turned into news making’ (Boorstin 1962: 14).
  34. 34. Pseudo-Events “In a democratic society . . . freedom of speech and of the press and of broadcasting includes freedom to create pseudo-events. Competing politicians, newsmen and news media contest in this creation. They vie with each other in offering attractive, ‘informative’ accounts and images of the world. They are free to speculate on the facts, to bring new facts into being, to demand answers to their own contrived questions. Our ‘free market of ideas’ is a place where people are confronted by competing pseudo-events and are allowed to judge among them. When we speak of ‘informing’ the people this is what we really mean.” (Boorstin 1962: 35) Triggers: 1) The lazyness of reporters  Talking news 2) The realm of media capitalism
  35. 35. The Limitation of Objectivity A further criticism of the media’s democratic role focuses on the professional journalistic ethic of objectivity. This ethic developed with the mass media in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and has been assailed ever since as fundamentally unattainable (McNair 2003). For a variety of reasons, it is argued, the media’s political reportage is biased and flawed – subjective, as opposed to objective; partisan, rather than impartial. As Lippmann put it in 1922, “every newspaper when it reaches the reader is the result of a whole series of selections as to what items shall be printed, in what position they shall be printed, how much space each shall occupy, what emphasis each should have. There are no objective standards here. There are conventions” (1954: 354).
  36. 36. The Flow of Political Interests and Influence in Democratic Landscape (Achmad Supardi) Interest Groups ------------------Spheres of Influence-----------Target of Influence Media Pressure Groups Structural Political (NGOs, Associations) Representatives (Parliament) Lobby groups Media Citizens Political Party Political Party Politicians Feedback (Input Feedback and Vote) (Input)
  37. 37. Print media Radio TV Online media
  38. 38. What trigger the emergence of individual broadcasters? What are the impacts of individual broadcasters for political campaign? What are the effects of individual broadcasters for government/policy-makers, media, industry, and interest groups?
  39. 39. The Failure of Democratic System Colin Seymour-Ure  Television has become an ‘integral part of the environment within which political life takes place’ (1989: 308) As a really powerful actor, can media do their role in a balance to the rights allocated to them in a democratic society?  The need to observe both ‘the democracy” and “the media”