CMN 3133: Reading #2 Sept 19 2013
Communication between the ruling organizations of a society and the people is central to any political
Perform the role of an activator; it cannot simply be a series of edicts to society from the elite, ruling group
but must allow feedback from society and encourage participation.
Modern democracies need to be increasingly responsive to their publics, and at the heart of
responsiveness is a dialogue
However, such definition would not be completely appropriate for many modern states, particularly given the
pole of the media.
These are, firstly, the political sphere ‘itself: the state and its attendant political actors.
. Each of these organizations and groups communicate messages into the political sphere, in the hope or
having some level of influence Finally, there are the media outlets, the media communicates about politics,
influencing the public as well as the political spheres.
In other words, they if what they want when they want but are influenced by one another And may well be
led by one particular group when formulating Arguments, opinions, policies, perceptions or attitudes.
France, was allowed sanction to invade Such communication is prevalent across the world today, between
states and within states, at theheart of which is persuasion: that the receiver should act in a way desired by
In order that the people can make the choice of who to elect, each competitor must communicate to them
effectively. Therefore political communication is often placed central to debates on the health md wellbeing of our
democracy and the styles and levels of interaction we often used as a measure of the strength of public
approval and engagement in the political system
Furthermore, across all democracies, there are a greater number of political voices, both elective and non
elective competing for the ear of the public.
This makes political communication an increasingly complex business, not only as an area of academic
study but also in the way it is practiced.
The Democratic State:
Democratic states are defined by the institutionalization of free, fair and regular elections that do not debar
anyone from participating, whether as voters or candidates, on grounds that are unreasonable: in the 21st
centurv these would include race and ethnic background, gender and political beliefs.
Those we elect are our representatives; they use their political power, given by the people through the vote,
on behalf of the people This is the fundamental concept of a representative democracy: to ensure a broad
range of people, and their views, are represented; made possible byboth state and society supporting
pluralism of views and access to the media
Debates on the effectiveness of this system
In a representative democratic state there are various tiers, or levels, political power. Broadly speaking
these can be separated between national and local; however, there are state differences
Outside of the elected political structure are pressure groups representing those voters who share a single
special interest; they can be representatives of workers in one industry, such as trade unions or
professional associations, or they may be businesses or they may be businesses or industrial
Communication from and between these groups is essential to the health of democracy, though the
diffusion of power can mean that their views can remain marginalized and they may be forced to take action
that gains them greater attention than they would normally be awarded: workers can withdraw their labour,
interest groups can hold demonstrations, marginalized groups can resort to terror tactics.
One further powerful group exists outside of the political system: the broadcast and print media, collectively
known as ‘the media’. The media act both as the communicator of political views from all groups in a state
and as a watchdog that calls political actors to account for their actions. 1. Alternatively, Norris (2000) argues that the media play an important role in upholding the democratic
nature of a ‘Society and strengthening pluralism.
2. Others take the view that the media an fall under political control, and so weaken pluralism through
offering a biased perspective.
3.Finally, there is the view that the media report only what they feel is important, that through the selection
of news values, framing and agendasetting, the public fail to receive sufficient information on which to base
their voting decision ,and some views become excluded due to their lack of fit to the media frames,
agendas and values.
We live in a media centered democracy
Political communication is as old as political activity; it was a feature of ancient Greece and the Roman
Empire as well as across diverse politics systems in the modern age.
Democratization of the majority of the political systems changed the nature of political communication and
political activity moved into the public sphere. The people became involved in politics because they were
expected to have a political role
Communication between the various groups, electoral and nonelectoral, became competitive; each vying
for space in the media and the attention of the people Thus we find more complex models for
understanding modern political communication. Figure 2 demonstrates the lines of communication that, theoretically, are open between each group. How
communication is made may vary and how audible the message is can be dependent upon the size of any
group or level of support for a party, group or cause and the tactics used to get the message across.
However, in a pluralist society, at least in theory, all groups will communicate among themselves and
between one another.
The process by which political communication is carried out has evolved, become more technically and
technologically sophisticated and adopted techniques from the worlds of corporate advertising and
marketing in order to compete in the modern informationrich society
Technology, however, not only effected political communication in the 20th century. The invention of the
printing press allowed Thomas More to attack the inequality in 15thcentury England.
• Every election across the democratic world will see leafleting, and many argue that such activities a