Thursday, 4 October 2012

Women and Party Election Broadcasts

At a recent conference at the Manchester People's Museum, Simon Cross gave a paper which came out of one of his latest research projects on party election broadcasts.
Simon's research was contextualized within a wider history of the British party election broadcast (PEB). From 1924, this history is inextricably linked with John Reith’s paternalistic vision that broadcasting should inform and educate public opinion in the new developing politics of mass participation. By the time the PEB on TV literally comes into focus in the 1950s, public broadcasting was still dominated by ‘Reithian values’ and programmes appealing to a mass audience. Despite the break with Reithian paternalism that followed the arrival of commercial television, he argues, the PEB on TV has survived into the 2000s though not without becoming entwined with forces of commercialisation including advertising’s emphasis on segmenting markets. His paper considered the durability of the PEB on TV, illustrating continuity and change in segmented appeals to women. By doing so, he located segmented appeals to women vis-à-vis changes in British TV such as the advent of regional broadcasting on commercial television and more recent fragmenting of terrestrial TV audiences. His research also examines the harmonisation of PEBs on TV and online.
Simon Cross, ‘“There Now Follows …”: Change and Continuity in Party Election Broadcasts. Parties, People and Elections: Political Communication since 1900. Manchester People’s Museum, Manchester 14 June 2012.


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