'Sometimes I like to stay in and watch TV...' Kinnock's Labour Party and media culture

Robinson, Lucy (2011) 'Sometimes I like to stay in and watch TV...' Kinnock's Labour Party and media culture. Twentieth Century British History, 22 (3). pp. 354-390. ISSN 0955-2359

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This article looks at Neil Kinnocks appearances in Labours 1987 election broadcast and the promotional video for Tracey Ullmans My Guy in 1984, in order to evaluate the relationship between political communication and popular culture. After the first British television broadcasts, television moved from a means of observing politics and politicians to an active agent and participant in politics. In the 1980s this relationship became more complex: it was politicians and politics that became participants in television. New media technology helped the televising of Parliament and new current affairs broadcasting formats to extend the opportunities for political communication through television. Engagement with television, and popular culture more generally, had a specific pull for Labour under Kinnock as the party strove to engage with first time voters without alienating their traditional voters. Discussion of politics and popular culture in the 1980s generally takes place around issues of party policy on the media industry or censorship, of promotional culture configured as PR or spin, or of the artificiality of politicians engagement with youth culture at events like Red Wedge. Instead this article argues for the importance of understanding politicians engagement with television through the lens of changing broadcast cultures and technologies, rather than as illustrative of traditional political communication.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of History, Art History and Philosophy > History
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DA History of Great Britain
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Depositing User: Lucy Robinson
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 20:58
Last Modified: 22 Aug 2012 15:24
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/28901
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