Role of the Media in Politics

Role of the Media in Politics

Traditional Media in Politics

  • Broadcasting balance: All broadcasters are legally required to maintain breadth and variety of opinion in topics of political controversy.
  • Party Political Broadcasts (PPBs): Allocates airtime to parties to express their political views.
  • News and current affairs programs: Shows like BBC’s Question Time or ITV’s This Morning often focus on political issues and host politicians.

New Media in Politics

  • Social media and online platforms: Enabled greater access to information, as well as two-way communication between politicians and the public.
  • Blogs and vlogs: Given individuals ability to comment on political events and even shape political debate.
  • Digital fundraising: Used by politicians and political parties to raise funds for campaigns.

Media Bias and Influence

  • Partisan bias: Newspaper endorsements and noticeable leanings can directly influence voting behaviour.
  • Agenda-setting and framing: Media can shape public opinion by deciding which issues receive attention and how they are presented.
  • Negative campaigning: Media commonly focus on negatives of politicians, which can contribute to public cynicism about politics.

Media Regulation

  • Ofcom: Regulator for UK’s broadcasting industries, ensuring standards and addressing complaints.
  • Press Complaints Commission (PCC): Now replaced with Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO), ensures newspaper industry maintains certain standards.

Note the key words such as broadcasting balance, partisan bias, agenda-setting and framing, Ofcom, and IPSO.