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Body of Knowledge

The Third Age of Political Communication: Influences and Features - Political Communication, Volume 16, Number 3 / July 1, 1999
by Jay G. Blumler; Dennis Kavanagh

This article identifies key changes in society and the media that have shaped political communication in many democracies over the postwar period. Three distinct ages are described. In the first, much political communication was subordinate to relatively strong and stable political institutions and beliefs. In the second, faced with a more mobile electorate, the parties increasingly "professionalized" and adapted their communications to the news values and formats of limited-channel television. In the third (still emerging) age of media abundance, political communication may be reshaped by five trends: intensified professionalizing imperatives, increased competitive pressures, anti-elitist populism, a process of "centrifugal diversification," and changes in how people receive politics. This system is full of tensions, sets new research priorities, and reopens long-standing issues of democratic theory.

Publication Type: Article / Chapter / Essay: 21 pages
Publisher: Routledge, part of the Taylor & Francis Group (1999)
Location: London, United Kingdom
Language: English
ISSN: 1058-4609

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