chapter  2
14 Pages

The transformation of political communication: Ralph Negrine and Stylianos Papathanassopoulos

ByRALPH NEGRINE, STYLIANOS PAPATHANASSOPOULOS

In reviewing the literature in the field of political communication produced in the last half-century, one is inevitably struck by the speed, intensity and depth of change in the structures of communication and in the ways in which political communication is carried out. In the case of the former, we have seen the Internet force the older media of communication – television, the printed press, radio – to adapt their styles and contents to a new environment. In the case of the latter, we have seen the emergence of ‘spin’ and the birth of the ‘spin doctor’, the growth of the ‘public relations state’ and the growing interest amongst political parties in ‘political marketing’. In these and other ways it is abundantly clear that things are not what they were and that new arrangements, structures, practices and ways of thinking abound. In other words, the nature of political communication – understood here as incorporating the means and practices whereby the communication of politics takes place – has been transformed and there has been ‘a marked change in its nature, form or appearance’.