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Political Communication in Freefall: The British Caseand Others?

I had to analyze un article written by Jay Blumler and Stephen Coleman. The main points in this text are about
the features of British political communication, about systemic sources that can bring to development of political
communication. Also it emphasize that citizenship is in danger of becoming something more than a form of non
commercial consumption. It proposes some institutional changes intended to counteract these trends. The
Keywords of this article are: political communication, citizenship, Internet, civic commons.
The political communication system includes three groups of actors. Politicians send messages intended to
reach potential voters. Journalists show everything that is happening on the political stage catching the audience
attention through sensational exclusives. Citizens do their best to find meaningful information, observe the
political show, and sometimes participate on elections.
The article is illustrating the current state of media in which actors from each of the three groups are using the
communication strategies. Also the authors are emphasizing the sources of the Crisis in political communication
system.
1. The ever-increasing adversarialism of political reporting. Is refering to fact that political mechanisms are
ineffectual, and that if one wants to exert real influence, this is best done through the media.
2. An ever-increasing emphasis upon politics as a game. The horse race metaphor, which has dominated only on
election campaign, now become a permanent feature of politics. This fact confuse the citizens, who have neither
the time to get to the bottom of all this disorder.
3. The double-competitive whammy among and between politicians and journalists. Political communication is
embroiled in what we are calling a double-competitive whammy, with politicians trying to shape public
perceptions about them and their parties. Meanwhile, the media system is ever more competitive for patronage
and revenue, pushing journalists to break stories, in a irresponsible way rather than to cultivate the civic
knowledge.
4. A burgeoning undergrowth of political news and opinion sources. The Internet has expanded the range of
political sources. This cannot be ignored by political elites, who are increasingly engaged in efforts to monitor
the blogosphere, control the content of wikis, and make their presence felt in unfamiliar environments, such as
Facebook and YouTube.
5. The emergence of a postdeferential culture in which the political has come to exceed the official sphere of
politics. The political elite can no longer gain the attention of citizens; they are compelled to fight for it. The
public itself has become more culturallized, and volatile in its media and electoral choices.
These five trends, are to some extent universal. But there are two features of political communication that
particularly characterize the British situation. The first of these is that in Britain, there has long been a close
integration between media and political elites, both in terms of socialization and everyday culture. Despite the
adversarialism, the two actors have come to a mutual assistance pact, but in public were creating an impression
of competition between them with their messages and responses. Citizens feel left out and irritated by confusing
language of these two actors. A second characteristic of the British crises is about the civic mission of the
journalists that is focused on sensational rather than analytical accounts.
The era in which politics was mediated by a small number of broadcasters is passing. Journalism as it has been
practiced for the past hundred years is no longer sustainable. The pact between old media and political elites is
threatened by new players in the media game who are very much outsiders. Now political communication
depends of new technologies, such as mobile phone cameras, Webcams, blogs, and YouTube. The public are no
longer only voters to be seduced, but potential to be managed.

Internet is a new force in political communication. There is the tendency of online communication to be most
energetic, and productive, The Internet is good for letting people say what they would like to see happen and
what they do not like. An example are the e-petitions, in which citizens can call for government to fund particular
projects or new laws. And of course online discourse that are an attractive way of speaking about personal
experience and expressions shaping in that sense some political decisions.