Political Communication. Dr. Inas A.Hamid. Political Communication is a system of dynamics interaction between political actors, the media and audience members, each of whom is involved in producing, receiving and interpreting political messages .
Dr. Inas A.Hamid
Political Communication is a system of dynamics interaction between political actors, the media and audience members, each of whom is involved in producing, receiving and interpreting political messages.
Usually elections are accomplished by the use of political campaigns as one of the most important means of communication that used by some government agencies, private or community to mobilize, educate and activate the willingness of individuals and change their ideas about specific political issues.
Recent scholarship demonstrates that a variety of campaign tactics and events have significant effects on turnout and/or vote choice .
An important stream of research in political marketing has focused on modeling how voters know about political parties and candidates and make voting decisions based on this information.
The first studies (Katz & Lazarsfeld 1955;Klapper 1960 ) emphasized the limited effect of media in guiding the political behavior of the public who exposed to it.
While recent studies - since the nineties - have confirmed that media has an important role in political participation specially in countries that live periods thriving democracy
Many evidences that prove campaigns can affect voters in different ways, for instance, Hummel (2012) finds that while an individual voter will not have a particular political attitude as a result of listening to the arguments in campaigns;
voters can get a better idea of where they stand by learning whether they agree with the publicly presented arguments.
Also the study concluded that the more arguments voters are exposed to, the more potential there is for voters to learn that their preferences are different from the preferences they believed they had at the beginning of the campaign
O\'Cass (2002) research that was undertaken in Australia indicates that non-paid media (television, newspapers) were valued more as sources of information by voters than were political advertising and the Internet.
Many research indicate that individuals pay more attention and give more weight to negative than to positive information (e.g., people attend more when told of 5% unemployment than when told of 95% employment).
Some research focused on The Internet effect on voters’ behavior. For example, the results of (Chen, 2010) research on the role of digital media in national elections campaigns of Australia in 2007 and Canada and New Zealand in 2008 indicates that swing voters (having a lower party affiliation and are therefore able to be influenced through the use of media) who engage in strategic decision-making tend to favor the use of ‘pull’ media where the user is proactive in seeking and selecting relevant content. On the other hand, disengaged voters lead to an emphasis on ‘push’ media (e.g. mass advertising) as users tend to be more passive receivers of information - Swing voters: People who have are seen has having a lower party affiliation and are therefore able to be influenced through the use of media.
Newman and Sheth (1985) proposed and developed a model of political-choice behavior. A key proposition of the model is that voter behavior can be driven by a combination of one or more of the domains in a given election.
The model consists of the following components:
(1) Issues and Policies. This domain refers to the personal beliefs of the voter about the candidate’s stand on economic, social, and foreign policy issues, which represent the rationale for the candidate’s platform.
(2) Social imagery. This represents the stereotyping of the candidate to appeal to voters by making associations between the candidate and selected segments in society. It also represents what voters perceive as linkage between the candidate and any social, economic, and political voting groups.
(3) Emotional feelings. This represents the voters’ emotional attitude toward the candidates.
(4) Candidate image. This means the candidates’ image based on personality traits that are thought to be characteristic of the candidate; such as, “honest, “truthful,” “monogamous,” “believable,” “decisive,” “educated,” “smart,”“experienced,” “strong,” “friendly,” and “qualified.
(5) Current events. It means issues and policies that develop during the course of a campaign that would cause the voter to switch his/her vote to another candidate; such as if the candidate changes his or her stand on the issues.
(6) Personal events. Refers to situations in the personal life of the candidate that would cause the voter to switch his/her vote to another candidate; such as commits a serious crime, lies about events in his/her private life, or is caught driving drunk.
(7) Epistemic issues. This Refers to reasons that would justify the received satisfaction of curiosity, knowledge, and exploratory needs offered by the candidate as a change of pace (something new, different).
Despite the certain relationship between exposing to electoral campaigns and the degree of political awareness exposures have, a large number of researchers were unable to reach any of the variables leads to the other.
Discuss from your perspective.