Political Communication Essay

1400 words - 6 pages

It is notoriously accepted that there is no single precise definition of political communication since ‘political’ and ‘communication’ themselves have varieties of definition. In order to critically discuss the changes that the Internet has brought to political communication, this essay is going to define political communication as purposeful communications about politics (McNair, 2011: 4). As McNair (2011:6) and Norris (2010) state that political communication involves the interactive process between political organizations, media and citizens. Moreover, media is a crucial element that links political organizations and citizens in various ways. The downward communication from political ...view middle of the document...

According to Chadwick (2006), Internet provides new platforms for public to ensure their participation in political debates. For example, politicians create a website called ‘My Society’ to improve the interactive communication and enhance participation. This website empowers citizens to get things changed. They can report problems about public transportation and the street they live in, write emails directly to officials in a convenient way, search government and parliament document, monitoring parliament’s work, etc. (MySociety, 2014). Additionally, Internet provides a platform for citizens to communicate directly with candidates in election campaign through online channel such as candidate’s Twitter (McNair, 2010). Moreover, politicians utilize the anonymous attribute of Internet to enhance the public participation. As Sparks (2001:79-80) claims, anonymity removes repressive criteria on social identification like age, sex, race, etc. Stromer-Galley (2002) agrees that some people may think discussing politics in their own face-to-face environment is taboo, and in this case Internet offers great opportunities for them to participate in political communication. In practice, many politicians nowadays have Twitter or Facebook accounts, public citizens can comment or forward tweets posted by politicians to show their stances anonymously. To conclude, politicians use Internet to enhance the public participation in political communication by enabling anonymous comments though social networking and providing platforms such as ‘my society’ for people to take part in politics

Apart from increasing participation in political communication, Internet is used to improve the transparency of political information. Firstly, because of the increasing utilization of Internet in political communication by politicians, many unofficial websites and social networks are becoming popular. They are used to leak some hidden and secret information prevalently in contemporary world. For instance, Wikileaks published US military information to the world without government permission. Moreover, information that government wants to hide such as footage of Israeli soldiers killing nine people aiming to obstruct ‘peace Flotilla’ was circulated though Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and other online channels (McNair, 2011). Despite making secret information available, Internet also enables official information more accessible for public. As United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (2012) claims, with the development of information technologies, government is now delivering its official information and services though Internet. The official website of government such as ‘https://www.gov.uk’ publishes policies, annual budgets and other official news that were available only in libraries previously. Additionally, politicians use Internet to record the political event, which makes it possible for citizens to review the event. For instance, McNair was trapped in...

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