« All articles from this issue

Javnost - The Public, Vol. 15 - 2008, No. 1

“Is this news to you, Prime Minister?” Media agendas, news management and a campaign interaction in the 2005 UK general election

, pages: 57-70

This paper presents a specific case study – a “campaign interaction” between the prime minister and a member of the public during a live BBC TV general election debate – in order to examine a number of issues around concerns over the “crisis in public communication” and political control of news information flows. In a wider political sense this episode, in which Tony Blair seemed to be unprepared for a question about family doctor appointment times, was a relatively minor element of a general election campaign dominated by issues such as asylum policy and the Iraq war. Nevertheless, analysis of the ensuing news coverage suggests that election news agendas can be diverted away (at least temporarily) from the planned communications of political agents towards issues and themes publicised by non-official, non-expert sources, while also illustrating the ultimate reliance of the media on those official accredited sources. The role of the BBC in the case study also raises the issue of its position as a public service broadcaster, and the interaction between press and broadcasting in British political news coverage.

pdf icon Full text PDF | quote icon Export Reference | permalink icon

« All articles from this issue