The Creation of Political News

Television and British Party Political Conferences

By James Stanyer

Television news remains one of the most important sources of political information for British electorate. Political parties use the TV media to get their messages across. The annual conferences of the main political parties are now a well-established publicity opportunity designed with a national television audience of millions in mind. This book examines the way in which publicity conscious elites systematically manage conference proceedings and the broadcasters to ensure that their party and policies are portrayed in the best possible light. It outlines the planning of media operations and the implementation of news management techniques employed by party spin-doctors. The book provides an important analysis of the attitudes of news media professionals toward such a stage-managed event, in an increasingly competitive news environment. These professionals are driven by a need to maximize audiences and look for more newsworthy occurrences than the main events on stage. While not neglecting their duties in a regulated broadcast environment, they are wise to and cynical of party publicity gambits, and recognize that they are drawn into intra-party conflict and feuding both in the main arena and on the conference fringe. This book gives a unique insight into what effectively is a publicity game, in which each party and the broadcasters seek to pursue differing but overlapping goals. While both want coverage to attract audiences, there is a growing distrust of each other's motives. The parties feel that they increasingly have to direct coverage in order to get their message across. Broadcasters, with the viewer in mind, increasingly want to break out of such a management straitjacket and open their audiences' eyes to what they see as the 'true' conference story.


224 pages

Publication Date: 10/1/2001
Format: Cloth
ISBN: 9781902210766

Available in other formats