The relationship between Parliament and the media is little different now from nearly half a century ago. Today, as then, its dominant feature is tension. This derives largely from the ambivalence of parliamentarians: they both recognise and dislike their dependence on the media for publicity, without which the effective representation and scrutiny of government are impossible. Some tension derives, too, from the dependence of the media on Parliament: the press has historic roots in party politics, while broadcasters have a ‘public service’ obligation to report Parliament. Parliament and media certainly retain mutual interests. But these are overlapping rather than identical. The balance of advantage is summed up in the truism that although the media can get on without politics, politics cannot get on without the media – and it is this last fact which is the main problem for Parliament.
KeywordsPrime Minister Party System Select Committee Media Landscape Political Marketing
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