The Game: Exploration of the Relationship between Political Media Advisers and Journalists

By Jane Fynes-Clinton.

Published by The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies in Communication

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The relationship between journalists who report on political matters and political media advisers in common-law democracies is symbiotic but traditionally uneasy. Their interaction is accepted as necessary for each to communicate information to their shared target audience, but each seeks to control the message. The products of the relationship are deep and far-reaching, having been found to affect public perceptions of politicians, voting intentions, and public views of itself more broadly. Through semi-structured, in-depth interviews with media advisers and journalists at both state (provincial) and national levels, individuals revealed their perspectives on the multi-faceted relationship and their perceptions of the practices of the other party. They offered insights into their own professional roles, perceptions of power, and understanding of responsibilities. The study results have practical implications for each group’s understanding of the practices and frameworks of the other, and for society’s understanding of the groups’ functions and operations. It is professionally significant for each of the professions. Theoretical applications include contributing to the field of gatekeeping, fourth estate and agenda-setting theory.

Keywords: Interdisciplinarity, Media Studies, Social Studies

The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies in Communication, Volume 10, Issue 1, March 2015, pp.13-22. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 435.296KB).

Jane Fynes-Clinton

Journalism Lecturer, Ph.D Student, University of the Sunshine Coast, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia