It’s hard to talk about politics without the media encroaching on the conversation. In an after lunch session entitled Media, politics and influence three speakers presented papers that looked at a range of topics.
Carole O’Reilly is a historian at University of Salford and talked about the influence (and funding) from municipal councillors that created some 19th century English local newspapers and filled them with content … and yet revelled in reporting ‘combative’ local elections, and printed strong criticism of winning and losing candidates. [Read Carole O’Reilly’s full paper – ‘An Absence of Purity’: Reporting Local Government in the Nineteenth Century]
In contrast, Ivor Gaber from City University London and University of Bedfordshire unpacked a little of ‘Hackgate’, drilling into the statistics that revealed that meetings between senior government figures and News International management (and proprietor) were weekly, rather than quarterly. He also highlighted the absence of government contact with the BBC, the largest journalistic organisation in the UK. [Download Ivor Gaber’s full paper – Moment of Truth: What Hackgate Tells Us About the Changing Relations between Media and Politics]