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Political Communication

Steven Foster

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This introduction to the study of political communication is divided into two sections. The first part focuses on the social context and includes detailed analysis of the processes of political communication today, as well as the impact of these on parties, pressure groups and government. Developments in the US are considered alongside those in the UK. The second part places media politics in their constitutional context, covering issues such as open government and freedom of expression, freedom of information, privacy and human rights. Attempts by the governments of the UK and the US to manipulate and control the media are also explored.

Key Features

  • Covers the history of the media in the UK and the USA including the concentration of ownership and the emergence of new media technologies
  • Explores the relationship between the media and political parties, especially the effect the media has had on the policies and internal power structures of parties and other organisations such as pressure groups
  • Considers the media influence on the electorate and the conduct of democratic politics
  • Explains the constitutional significance of the politics of the media


Part 1: Party Political Communication
1. Three Phases of Evolution
2. The Modern Communication Strategy
3. Direct Sales: Pre-modern Communication in the Post-modern Age
4. Political Advertising
5. News Management in the Age of 'Spin'
Part 2: Politics and the Media
6. Media Bias
7. Media Effects
8. Media Policy (1): Ownership and Control
9. Media Policy (2): Content
10. Conclusion: the Politics of Communication

About the Author

Steve Foster was educated at the Universities of Manchester and London. He has taught politics and economics at the Manchester Grammar School since 1988, where he currently holds the post of Assistant Surmaster. Steve has also taught at the University of Manchester's Department of Extra-Mural Studies and the Open University.

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