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The Media and Political Process
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The Media and Political Process

Second Edition
  • Eric Louw - University of Queensland, Australia


© 2010 | 240 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
How have professional communicators transformed the business of politics? How do political bodies use the media to sell domestic and foreign policies to the public? 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 mediatisation 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.

Providing a comprehensive overview of the evolution, operation and terminology of political communication, this text is an accessible, lively resource for students of political communication and media and politics, and will be important further reading for students of journalism, public relations and cultural studies.

 
Introduction
 
Politics: Image versus Substance
What is Politics?  
Politics: Hype and Substance  
The Media as a Power Resource  
The Game of Political Impression Management  
What is Media-ized Politics?  
 
Western Political Development: An Evolving Symbiosis of Media and Politics
The Origins of Liberal Democracy  
The Early Anglo Model  
The Massification of Liberal Democracy  
Managing Democracy: Taming Western Publics  
The Media's Evolving Role in Liberal Governance  
Liberal Democracy and the Public Sphere  
 
Political Media Practice: An Outline
From Fourth Estate to Sensationalized Watchdogism  
News as Entertaining Spectacle  
Constructing the News Window 1: Journalistic Practices  
Constructing the News Window 2: Choosing Sources  
Constructing the News Window 3: Newsroom Struggles  
Institutionalizing the Media-Politician Relationship  
Journalists: Watchdogs or Symbiotic Partners?  
Journalistic 'Power'  
 
Spin-Doctoring: The Art of Political Public Relations
The Rise of PR Professionals as Political Players  
Changes to the Political Process  
The Innovators of PR-ized Politics  
The Normalization of PR-ized Politics  
What is Political PR?  
The Tools of Political PR  
 
Selling Politicians and Creating Celebrity
Constructing Celebrity  
The Game: Playing to a Televisual Audience  
Genres of Political Celebrity  
 
Selling Political Policies and Beliefs
Worldviews  
Making Worldviews  
Popularizing Worldviews  
The Function of Worldviews  
 
Selling War/Selling Peace
The Era of Mass Consent for Mass Killing  
Vietnam: A Televised Non-censored War  
The PR-ization of Warfare  
Nintendo Warfare  
The Iraq War  
Selling Peace  
 
The Media and Terrorism
Terrorism as Communication  
Terrorist Audiences  
Fighting Terrorism  
Terrorism and the Media  
 
The Media and Foreign Relations
The CNN Effect  
Foreign Policy Making: The Players  
The Media and Foreign Relations  
The Media-ized Dimension of Foreign Relations  
 
Conclusion: Searching for Answers (and Questions)
What is Media-ization  
The Routines and Practices of Media-ized Politics  
Creating Hype Politics  
When Things Go Wrong for Spin-doctors  
Hype-Politics: A System in Trouble or a System Re-Inventing Itself?  
Is Media-ization Bad?  

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 McNair
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


This is a great book for courses on media and politics. It's down to earth, critical, argumentative and challenging, and still remains accessible for students.

Dr Esra Ozcan
Communication Department, Tulane University
January 18, 2014

The book is highly recommended for lecturers who teach Mass Communication course. By using the book, I could introduce the role of media within political processes. The book also gives important notes about the origin and development of political process in the west (section 3). It is good and useful for us in the east.

Section 6-8 give another inspiration about the role of media in 'selling' politician, peace, or even war. Here the students realize that there is indeed close relationship between mass media (an important agent in mass communication) and political process.

Mr F. X. Lilik Mardjianto
Communication Science, Multimedia Nusantara University
December 12, 2012

This is a wonderful book with fascinating structure and in-depth information for everyone interested in political process and the role of media within it. It was suggested as a recommended reading for our students, and I have no doubt they will greatly benefit from it.

Mr Ilkin Mehrabov
Dept of Media & Communication Studies, Karlstad University
September 7, 2012

Adopted another title

Dr Andrew Liaropoulos
Department of International & European Studies, University of Piraeus
August 10, 2012

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter One

Chapter Two


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