Out with the old in with the new? The media campaign

Ward, SJ and Wring, D 2018, 'Out with the old in with the new? The media campaign' , Parliamentary Affairs, 71 (S1) , pp. 203-221.

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The 2017 General Election will likely be remembered as the campaign where the once dominant forms of TV and print journalism were challenged by digital platforms. This chapter analyses this development while also acknowledging that social media networks do not operate in isolation from their more traditional counterparts and content is often shared between them. That said, digital networks did provide Labour Party supporters with significant opportunities to challenge and rebut claims made by the Conservative-dominated press during this campaign. A significant amount of this material focused on the merits (or not) of the two major rival parties and most especially their leaders. In comparison, other politicians received considerably less attention than in 2015.

The 2017 media campaign was not expected to showcase the kinds of innovation or generate the many surprises it subsequently provided. Its unexpected calling meant there was minimal time for campaign planning. In media terms, the rival platforms were often portrayed as though they were operating in parallel universes. So-called traditional media, especially newspapers, were seeking to appeal to older core voters and seen as relentlessly negative, anti-Jeremy Corbyn and pro-Conservative. By contrast, social media was viewed as a vibrant sphere dominated by young, left-leaning voices with a heavily pro-Corbyn agenda. In the aftermath, it could be argued that 2017 marked a watershed moment, one where social media finally proved its electoral worth and the power of the press was significantly challenged. Intriguingly, the media election was not, however, solely characterized by innovation given it too would hark back to an era of two-party politics. Thus the campaign proved to be a highly presidential affair dominated by both of the main parties and their leaders. These factors will be in turn considered in assessments of the role and nature of traditional, as well as social, media in this election.

Item Type: Article
Schools: Schools > School of Arts & Media > Arts, Media and Communication Research Centre
Journal or Publication Title: Parliamentary Affairs
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISSN: 0031-2290
Related URLs:
Depositing User: SJ Ward
Date Deposited: 20 Jun 2018 15:41
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2022 18:48
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/47070

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