Political communication

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Political communication

  1. 1. Definition of Communication:Bogardus defined communication as “interaction in terms of astimulus or a gesture by one person which produces a response inthe form of a verbal or silent symbol by a second person’’ (cited onSyams, 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 aform 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 getswhat, when, and how.“David Easton  "A political system can be designated as thoseinteractions through which values are authoritatively allocated fora society.“Max Weber  "A political association exists if ... the enforcementof its order is carried out continually within a given territorial areaby the application and threat of physical force.”Robert Dahl  "A political system is any persistent pattern ofhuman 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), officialauthority (who is given the power to make legal, legislative and executivedecision), and official sanctions (what the state rewards or punishes)  Emphasizing rhetoric, sidelining symbolic communication actsGraber (1981) Political communication is political language which “comprises ofrhetoric as well as paralinguistic signs such as body language, and political actssuch as boycotts and protests” (cited on McNair 2003)McNair (2003: 4)Purposeful communication about politics All forms of communication undertaken by politicians and other politicalactors for the purpose of achieving specific objectives Communication addressed to these actors by non-politicians such as votersand newspaper columnists Communication about these actors and their activities, as contained in newsreports, editorials, and other forms of media discussion of politics (p. 4)
  4. 4. CelebrityWhat is it about celebrities that drives everyonega-ga? Besides an accident of genetics thatendows them with the ability to wiggle theirhips, sing off-key, get drunker than skunks, ordance with the stars, what exactly is it thatcelebrities bring to the table? Are they morallyand ethically superior to ordinary humans? Haveany of them replaced a big rig transmission orinvented a new way to prevent heartburn?
  5. 5. CelebritySchickel (1986) defined celebrity as ‘intimate strangers’ (Hughes-Freeland 2007:p. 5).This definition combines the physical and socio-economic distance betweencelebrity and the general public and the psychological and emotional proximitybetween the two (Hughes-Freeland 2007: p. 5).The intimacy that comes from almost any aspect of the celebrity, according toFranklin (1997) makes them perceived as “more newsworthy” than any reports withmore significant issues and impacts (p. 4).Rojek (2001) categories celebrity into three types: ascribed‟ celebrity are thosewho gained their fame through their lineage such as aristocrats; „achieved‟ celebritywho obtained their fame through a proven talents and capabilities either throughcompetition or works, and „attributed‟ celebrity that is “based on the workings ofcultural intermediaries to look like „achieved celebrity‟ while being a constructedrepresentation of it” (pp: 17–20). Celebrities that developed their fame throughwidely published scandals or controversies are the extreme example of attributedcelebrity. They usually obtained less social respect eventhough secured immensegossip and popular attention “and are normally short lived” (Hughes-Freeland 2007:p. 5).
  6. 6. CelebrityDaniel J. Boorstin in his seminal study The Image suggested that the celebrityis a person who is “well-known for his well-knownness”  often paraphrasedas “a celebrity is someone famous for being famous.”The celebrity is the “human pseudo-event” (anything about him/her ‘must’ benewsworthy)The differences between celebrity and hero:Boorstin 1) “The hero was distinguished by his achievement; the celebrity by his imageor 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 becelebrity and forget to act as heroes.
  7. 7. CelebrificationJoshua Gamson  „the celebrification process‟  “the acquisition bypolitical leaders of the traits, conversational codes and presentationalskills developed by Hollywood.”The Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism  Celebrification is aterm to describe “a phenomenon seemingly rampant in the Philippinepolitical landscape during elections –celebrities help politicians to bemore popular, celebrities endorse candidates during electioncampaigning, and celebrities themselves become politicians wanting toserve 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: ConceptsThose who gained continual positivecoverage by the media
  10. 10. CelebrificationReports on personal-related issues Tabloidization (concepts) Personal-related issues, even thescandals, are regarded as more important than the policy
  11. 11. In order to be celebrity (or to gainenough fame to be recognized bythe people), some political actorsdo the “Self-imaging”  deliberateaction(s) aimed at projecting goodand/or beneficial self-image
  12. 12. Why do we need tocreat and maintainpositive self-image?1. Communication is S-O-R2. 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 valuesThese means that cultivating a good image is important and strategic
  13. 13. Factors taken intoaccount in developingpositive self-image1. The projected (intended) image2. Community/target‟s valuesBe aware of the content (message) to be deliveredand the way of delivering it
  14. 14. Ways (Strategies) indeveloping positive self-image1. Inline with community‟s values2. Less likely to trigger conflict3. Media-friendly message and package
  15. 15. How to measure self-imaging? Congruency between theactor’s intented image andimage built in people mind (Positive) top of mind
  16. 16. Public SphereGerman sociologist, Jürgen Habermas  “By thepublic sphere we mean first of all a realm of oursocial life in which something approaching publicopinion can be formed.... Citizens behave as a publicbody when they confer in an unrestricted fashion –that is, within the guarantee of freedom of assemblyand association and the freedom to express andpublish their opinions” (cited in Pusey 1978: 89)
  17. 17. Public SphereGripsund  “a set of institutions representing a sort of ‘buffer zone’ between thestate/king and private sphere, to protect them from arbitrary decisions thatinterfered 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 arecombined 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 hasgradually expanded from its elitist beginnings to include absolute majoritiesof the population in modern democratic societies.
  18. 18. Public SphereMcNair  The public sphere, as can be seen, comprises in essence thecommunicative institutions of a society, through which facts andopinions circulate and by means of which a common stock ofknowledge is built up as the basis for collective political action (2003:20-21)Hence, the mass media, which since the eighteenth century haveevolved into the main source and focus of a society’s sharedexperience played a significant role in the public sphere (McNair:2003: 20-21).
  19. 19. Public OpinionMedia became the most influential actor in influencing publicopinion.According to Habermas, the first use of the term ‘publicopinion’ was documented in 1781, referring to “the criticalreflection of a [bourgeois] public competent to form its ownjudgments” (Pusey 1978: 90).
  20. 20. Generally, the media is the most influential actor indetermining public opinion. Other actors are pressuregroupsPressure groupsPressure groups “have been credited with havingdeveloped new styles of political activism, theso-called ‘new politics’ – popularprotests, marches, sit-ins, direct action, and so on –that has proved to be attractive to a growing body ofyoung people disillusioned by ‘conventional’ politics”*. Conventional politics: politics through parliament by means of politicalparties
  21. 21. Group InterestsPressure groups and political parties“Pressure groups and political parties have much incommon. They are the two main bodies throughwhich the public’s views and interests are channelledto government. As such, both of them carry outrepresentation, facilitate political participation andcontribute to the policy process. However, on theface of it, groups and parties are very differentbeasts”(http://www.palgrave.com/PDFs/0230201733.pdf).
  22. 22. Group InterestsA pressure group is an organized group of people which aims to influencethe 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 orexercise government power. Pressure groups do not make policydecisions, but rather try to influence those who do (the policy-makers). Inthat sense, they are ‘external’ to government.2) They typically have a narrow issue focus. In some cases, they may focuson a single issue (for instance opposing a planned road development).3) Their members are united by either a shared belief in a particularcause or a common set of interests. People with different ideological andparty preferences may thus work happily together as members of thesame pressure group. (http://www.palgrave.com/PDFs/0230201733.pdf).
  23. 23. Group InterestsExamples of Pressure Groups:Indonesia1.2.3.4.5.6.International1.2.3.4.
  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 PoliticiansFeedback (Input Feedback and Vote) (Input)
  25. 25. Media and Public DiscourseThe scheme above indicated that media hold two positions:1) Media as one of interest groups2) Media as public sphere of discourseMedia 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 MediaDemocracy 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 System1. The failure of democratic system2. The absent of choices3. Manufacture of consent4. Pseudo events5. The limitation of objectivity
  29. 29. The Failure of Democratic SystemDemocracy  people decideWho are ‘the people’  the majority asreflected through the result of GeneralElectionsHow if the majority of eligible voters do notuse their right to vote? Are the ones chosenin General Election reflected the choice ofmajority of the people?
  30. 30. The Absent of ChoicesA 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 waspopular and common-sensical from the freemarket right (such as the reduction of‘big government’), while adhering to the core social democratic values of socialjustice and equality of opportunity.
  31. 31. Manufacture of ConsentDespite the failure of democratic system and the absent ofchoices, there are also media-related downfall, namely themanufacture of consent (Walter Lippmann1954: 245).Remember: The legitimacy of liberal democratic governmentis founded on the consent of the governed (the people).The problem is that the consent of the governed is not theoriginal consent of the people, but the manufactured one.Who manufacture people’s consent? Mostly Media
  32. 32. Manufacture of ConsentPoliticians combined the techniques ofsocial psychology with the immense reach ofmass media.Persuasion or Manipulation?To inform or to direct?
  33. 33. Pseudo-EventsPseudo-events (coined by Daniel Boorstin in 1962)  the increasingtendency of news and journalistic media to cover ‘unreal’, unauthentic‘happenings’.(Unauthentic events which deliberately created/managed inorder to convey a certain message and/or to reach a specificgoal)This tendency, he argued, was associated with the rise from thenineteenth century onwards of the popular press and a correspondinglydramatic increase in the demand for news material. ‘As the costs ofprinting and then broadcasting increased, it became financially necessaryto 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 pressand of broadcasting includes freedom to create pseudo-events.Competing politicians, newsmen and news media contest in thiscreation. They vie with each other in offeringattractive, ‘informative’ accounts and images of the world. They arefree to speculate on the facts, to bring new facts into being, todemand answers to their own contrived questions. Our ‘freemarket of ideas’ is a place where people are confronted bycompeting pseudo-events and are allowed to judge among them.When we speak of ‘informing’ the people this is what we reallymean.” (Boorstin 1962: 35)Triggers:1) The lazyness of reporters  Talking news2) The realm of media capitalism
  35. 35. The Limitation of ObjectivityA further criticism of the media’s democratic role focuses on theprofessional journalistic ethic of objectivity. This ethic developedwith the mass media in the late nineteenth and early twentiethcenturies, and has been assailed ever since as fundamentallyunattainable (McNair 2003).For a variety of reasons, it is argued, the media’s political reportageis biased and flawed – subjective, as opposed to objective;partisan, rather than impartial. As Lippmann put it in 1922, “everynewspaper when it reaches the reader is theresult of a whole series of selections as to what items shall beprinted, in what position they shall be printed, how much spaceeach shall occupy, what emphasis each should have. There are noobjective 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 PoliticiansFeedback (Input Feedback and Vote) (Input)
  37. 37. Print mediaRadioTVOnline media
  38. 38. What trigger the emergence of individualbroadcasters?What are the impacts of individualbroadcasters for political campaign?What are the effects of individualbroadcasters for government/policy-makers,media, industry, and interest groups?
  39. 39. The Failure of Democratic SystemColin Seymour-Ure  Television has become an‘integral part of the environment within whichpolitical life takes place’ (1989: 308)As a really powerful actor, can media do their role ina balance to the rights allocated to them in ademocratic society?  The need to observe both‘the democracy” and “the media”

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