Media and Influence in Politics: An Insider story
Media has long held an influence within political communications but the way that politicians communicate with the people of the country has changed greatly. Initially, politicians would physically meet with people and give large speeches in front of crowds. The birth of radio and then TV meant that politicians with a soothing voice or attractive appearance held an advantage over their opponents. Following this, the advent of the internet and social media has once again dramatically impacted the political arena for politicians and voters alike.
Local Labour Councillor Honey Jamie joined us to give some inside information into how exactly she and people around her have had to use social media platforms to campaign and communicate party messages. She talked about the benefits of the wide range of platforms that politicians can access such as opening up two way conversations with the public, broadcast and a deeper level of engagement but also whether this has turned political discourse into a personality contest.
Never before have we had such access through our media consumption into political events but the way that the media presents these to us are inescapably bias. Our discussion centred around the ethics of campaign advertising and whether data targeting could possibly be considered manipulative or if it’s just good campaign politics. As we circled around current issues facing the relationship between media and politics, such as celebrity political voices and political messaging in mainstream advertising we considered how this is going to look in the future if things don’t change.
The main question remains: how do we decide which voices need to remain politically neutral?