'Playing by the Book': Success and Failure in John Major's Approach to Prime Ministerial Media Management

Bale, Tim and Sanders, Karen (2001) 'Playing by the Book': Success and Failure in John Major's Approach to Prime Ministerial Media Management. Contemporary British History, 15 (4). pp. 93-110. ISSN 1361-9462

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Abstract

Both the Thatcher and the Blair governments have been accused of politicising the Prime Ministerial press operation. This article asks whether it is possible to maintain a constitutionally clearer demarcation between the expressly political and the strictly governmental, and at the same time still pursue a successful communications strategy. Based on semi-structured interviews with both national journalists and government and party media managers, it uses the example of the Major governments to illustrate that it is not. But it also argues, using the same example, that, unless we insist on a simplistic and outmoded conception of 'prime ministerial power', there is no simple correlation between, on the one hand, success and professionalised political control and, on the other, failure and what is termed here a 'civil service' approach.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Politics
Subjects: J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe) > JN0101 Great Britain
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN4699 Journalism. The periodical press, etc.
Depositing User: Tim Bale
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 20:20
Last Modified: 30 Nov 2012 17:06
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/25502
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