Flashcards in Media Effects: Election Campaigns Deck (18):
Why do parties matter?
- Campaign linkages
- Recruit candidates and ‘set parameters’ of elections
- Participatory linkage
- Membership and ‘get out the vote’
- Ideological linkage
- Devise and sell policy choices (usually based on ideological cues)
- Representatieve linkage
- Aggregation of citizens’ policy preferences
- Policy Linkage
- Implementation of policies and reporting on progress
How are campaigns and ideology related?
- ‘Set the parameters of an election'
- What will an election be ‘fought on’?
- Value-laden role?
- ‘Sell policy choices’
- Inform voters
- Persuade voters
- Prime voters
- ‘Get out the vote'
- (In voluntary systems)
What are election incentives?
- Media’s job/incentive: Attract audiences
- Reporting breaking news
- Providing different/interesting angles
- Informing public (incidentally)
- Party’s job/incentive: Attract voters
- Controlling what information gets reported
- Framing news coverage
- Informing public (incidentally)
What are party campaign strategies?
* Public Relations
* Direct Contacting or Targeting
What is PR?
- ‘Earned’ media
- “The management function which evaluated public attitudes, identifies the policies and procedures of an individual or an organisation with the public interest, and plans and execute a programme of action to earn public understanding and acceptance”
What are modern PR campaigns?
- Press releases
- Press conferences
- Making governing/campaigning ‘news’
- ‘Talking points’
- Not new to ‘new media’
What are the advantages of PR?
- Benefits of being ‘elite’
- Perceived legitimacy: publicity as ‘news’
What are the implications of PR?
- Back to ‘talking points’
- Emphasis on discipline and coherence
- Agenda maintenance
- ‘Negative risk’
- Progress is risky
What is advertising?
- ‘Paid’ media
- Including social media
- Political parties/campaigns with direct, ‘unfiltered’ message transmission
- But is also (usually) obviously advertising
- Lacks the implied endorsement of PR
- Important role for government (e.g. AEC rules on ‘truth’)
- Media quid pro quo
What is media quid pro quo?
- Important quid pro quo: media companies love the revenue
- Journalists may enjoy their political ‘gate keeper’ role but the media (particularly TV) LOVE election
- Estimated 2016 political ad expenditure in US was $9.8billion
- Overwhelmingly still spent on TV ads, but digital profits proliferating
- Also partisan differences
Why is so much spent in US campaign advertising?
- So expenditure escalates as a neutralising (or risk minimising) strategy rather than as a positive, vote winning one
- And media companies have a vested interest
- The closer the election, the greater the expenditure
What is negative advertising?
- Arguably an Australian tradition
- Evidence from US that it polarises and ‘shrinks’ the electorate:
- “The best single predictor of campaign tone, it turns out, is the closeness of the race. The tighter the contest, the meaner the campaign”
- “For a supporter reacting to negative info, dropping out may be easier than switching to the attacker” “The electorate may curse a ‘plague on both houses’”; “Campaigns that generate more negative than positive messages may leave voters embittered toward the candidates and the rules of the game”
What are the AD rules in Aus?
- Electoral Act 1918 requires authorisation on written content, and ‘light touch’ parameters on content:
- “To ensure electors are informed about the source of political advertising, and to ensure that political advertising does not mislead or deceive electors about the way in which a vote must be cast"
- “Broad consensus right now is that truth in advertising can be legislated for, but it is incredibly problematic to enforce and prosecute… Misleading and deceptive conduct in ads is enforced only when in concern promoting informal or incorrect voting”
- Broadcast Services Act 1992 requires ‘authorisation’ content on broadcast content, approximately equal access to advertising and pre-election blackout
What are the pros of ads?
- Campaigns retain control
- Unfiltered by media interpretation or analysis
- ‘Everyone else is doing it’
- Clear agenda-setting/priming/framing advantages
What are the implications of ads?
- Capacity to turn voters off election
- ‘Polarise and shrink’
- Difficulty of enforcing the ‘truth'
- Limitation of pre-election blackout
- Intended to create ‘clean air’
- Also prevents last minute ads without time for fact-checking/response
- ‘Arms race’ expenditure
What is direct contact?
- Can take different forms:
- Targeted digital advertising
- Personally addressed letters (based on micro-targeting or known information)
- Face-to-face canvassing (based on micro-targeting or known information)
- As a rule, the greater the effort, the greater the return
What are the pros of direct contact?
- Talking to people face-to-face can:
- Encourage them to vote
- Change their minds
- Here lie ‘maximum effects’
- Not filtered or interpreted by media
- ‘Personalised service’ matters