May the First, 1973 — a Day of Predictable Madness
May the first — for those who believe in astrology — was obviously not a day to waste on demonstrations. Even 1 May 1973, which saw the largest trade union demonstrations of recent years, against the Conservative Party’s Industrial Relations Act, an act which was designed to ‘control’ trade unionism. Gazing into their crystal balls in the weeks before May Day, media spokesmen failed to relate these threatened protests to incipient changes in consciousness amongst British trade unionists. James Halloran and his co-workers concluded in regard to liberal protest movements that accounts in the media are ‘largely isolated from antecedent conditions, conveying little understanding of either root causes or aims; and that the whole interpretation will convey a generally negative impression’ (Halloran et al., Demonstrations and Communications, Penguin, 1970, p. 315). An analysis of media coverage of May Day 1973 indicates this conclusion can be generalised to treatment by Press, radio and television of industrial affairs.
KeywordsTrade Union Media Coverage Union Leader Front Page Daily Mail
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