Campaigns Wikia

In the Mission Statement for this wiki, Jimbo writes:

Broadcast media brought us broadcast politics. And let's be simple and bluntly honest about it, left or right, conservative or liberal, broadcast politics are dumb, dumb, dumb.
Campaigns have been more about getting the television messaging right, the image, the soundbite, than about engaging ordinary people in understanding and caring how political issues really affect their lives.

Given that this wiki was in some sense created as a response to the problems of broadcast politics... let's work on a description of what the problems are and what we can do to fix them.


What is "broadcast politics"[]

Broadcast Politics is political discourse (and the voting and power negotations the discourse is part of) that takes place in a media where small numbers of "broadcasters" generate information content for mass distribution and consumption. It happens in media that is not personalized and is not point-to-point.

The effects of broadcast politics in history[]

Perhaps there should be some discussion about the way these mediums moved from (in McLuhan's terminology) the cool to the warm. Basically, the early broadcast technologies required lots of effort to interpret because they were so data poor. Later broadcast technologies gave more data and required less cognitive effort to interpret.

1835 to 1910ish: newspapers[]

On May 6th 1835 James Gordon Bennet started the first modern newspaper. He invented a business model that included things that had existed separately, but never before together:

  • Use of the new steam powered rotary printing presses,
  • Focused on objective rather than partisan reporting of facts.
  • Tried to be "first to report".
  • Sold to a mass audience using newsboys.

Newspapers had many effects on politics among them...


1920ish to 1960-ish: radio[]

Things that deserve mention:

  • Radio itself
  • Roosevelt
  • Kennedy versus Nixon signalling the end of the Radio Era.

1960-ish to 2006-ish: television[]

Things that deserve mention:

  • Gerry Mander's "Four Arguments For The Elimination of Television".
  • Reagan was an actor.
  • Sound bytes - what they are, why they happen, what they do to political discourse.

The end of broadcast politics[]

These are relevant and deserve more treatment:

  • The Howard Dean campaign as the first (unsuccessul) serious net movement.
  • The rise of the "net left" and their first (debated) victory over Joe Lieberman.
  • The Unity Movement and the possible end to presidential broadcast politics in 2008.
  • Campaigns Wikia itself.

See also[]

External links[]