REFLECTIONS ON THE 2005 BRITISH GENERAL ELECTION
This paper is intended to provide some reflections on the British general election campaign of April and May 2005. It does not claim to offer a thorough analysis of every aspect of the campaign although it does seek to highlight some aspects of the campaign that would be of interest to researchers of campaigning, the media and the relationships between the two. First, it aims to establish the context of the 2005 campaign and of this particular campaign in the context of recent campaigns. Secondly, it focuses on some interesting new developments for 2005. And finally, it attempts to draw some lessons from this election, lessons that may have wider relevance.
POLITICS AND PARLIAMENT IN THE ITALIAN PRINT NEWS
With respect to the coverage of the Parliament’s activity and proceedings it is argued that: 1) news regarding Parliament is quantitatively scanty mostly if compared with the attention devoted to other political issues, 2) it has been decreasing over recent years and 3) it is of bad quality and has become even worse through the years because of the changing nature of journalism and the interaction between journalists and members of the Parliament. The aim of this paper is to find out whether the previous observations also conform to the coverage of the Italian Parliament. The data of research confirm the hypotheses that political news absolutely predominates over parliamentary news. This paper also aims to analyze how such news has evolved over the years and finally proposes some possible hypotheses to interpret the data that have been collected.
THE HELLENIC PARLIAMENT ON TELEVISION
Nicos Demertzis, Tereza Kapelou, Panagiotis Tsiligiannis
This article examines the volume, content, and nature of the presentation of parliamentary news in the evening newscasts of Greek public and private television stations. We present the results of a content analysis of the five leading Greek television channels (NET, ALPHA, STAR, MEGA, ANT-1), that spans a four month period, from December 2001 to April 2002. Our aim here is two-fold: first, to provide a systematic analysis of news regarding the Parliament, which will serve as a reference point for further original research from Greek and international scholars; second, to identify the primary determinant of the Parliament’s televised imagery. By extensive comparisons between the five television stations, we determine whether the coverage of the Parliament by the Greek television news broadcasts can be attributed to the nature of the television medium, or the particular operational status of the stations (public or private).
POLITICS ON THE TALK SHOWS OF NEWSCASTS
Athanassios N. Samaras, Stelios Papathanassopoulos
This essay explores the representations of politics that are formed in the talk-shows integrated into the newscasts. This is a hybrid format whose content is affected by both media logic and campaign logic. Journalists and politicians contribute to the formulation of the representations, with candidate MPs having the most extensive contribution. The most important findings are: the dominance of candidate issues over policy issues; the dominance of images over issues; high levels of statement containing attacks; predominantly party-centered content and significant differences between journalists and politicians, between politicians of the larger and of the smaller parties and between politicians of New Democracy (ND) and of Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK).
CONTENT AND QUALITY OF NEWSCASTS: THE POLITICAL AGENDA-SETTING
Citizens individually - and the public as a whole - are a key agency in political communication. Citizens deserve media spaces and public fora, so as for them to be able to express their opinions in writing, for publication. If they are to contribute to the development of a critical public discourse and a vigorous public debate, citizens in liberal democracies need devoted frames for responsible-accountable participation in the ‘public arena’. In this article, I examine the national political press in Greece with regard to the space and respective frames that are provided for citizens’ access. Greek daily newspapers are first classified in two categories: [a] those that are open and accessible to the public for publication of material written and sent in by citizens, and [b] in those that are closed to the public for such a practice. Subsequently, the first category is analysed closely in terms of: the offered practical possibilities to citizens, the type of relationship that evolves between such ‘open’ newspapers and their participatory / interactive readership, and, the type of the emerging profile of the focused newspapers. On the whole the findings of the study are negative as the great majority of the Greek newspapers either neglect this obligation they have, in terms of political communication, or they are unable to meet it – usually due to minute readerships. As a result a large part of newspaper readers in Greece are excluded from possibilities to express their opinions in writing and to participate in the public sphere. Thus, they are unable to enact their potential ‘communication rights’. This condition impacts negatively on the national political culture. The exclusive responsibility for this exclusionary political communication environment rests with the agencies of the Press, notably the owners. So, rather than proceeding to a civic journalism that hinges around the concerns of citizens by enabling citizens and enriching public political communication, a large segment of the political press in Greece fails to fulfill the obligations of its role. Meanwhile, political newspapers continue losing both readerships and due legitimacy. Consequently, failure to meet such political communication obligations endangers the future viability of political press itself, but also, undermines politics itself, and, processes of political communication.
THE POLITICAL AGENDA OF TV NEWS BULLETINS
This paper presents the results of a content and discourse analysis of political news bulletins of the eight larger Greek television stations. In the news agenda is recorded a relative precedence of political news followed by human interest stories, topics about social protection, criminality, showbiz etc. This structure of news constitutes powerful clue of tabloidization of TV news in general. The research findings show a high percentage of domestic political versus international news that indicates an increasing of “domestication” of political TV news in Greece. Moreover, to a large extent, the main sources of political news are reporters and a lack of investigative journalism. The dramatization of political news has decreased in comparison to other periods but it has increased though the reporters’ speech and factual nature of news. From the perspective of the above described variables, one can find significant differences between these eight TV channels and they are divided in three major groups.
POLITICAL CANDIDATES ON THE INTERNET DURING THE LOCAL ELECTIONS OF 2002
Prodromos Yannas, Georgios Lappas
Internet is becoming part of the political communication strategy of candidates in Greece during electoral periods. This research focuses in the use the Internet during the local elections of 2002. The geographical distribution of the candidates shows that the majority of the candidates that used the Internet as part of their campaign strategy were from Attica. The results of the research confirm that the candidates for the 2002 local elections underutilized the Internet as communication medium. Candidates that seem to have explored more this medium were independent candidates from the Attica region.