At a time of radical shifts in power across the globe, the sixth edition of An Introduction to Political Communication examines the role of the media in the political process. Brian McNair reflects on the role of communication in key events such as the referendum vote for the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union, the rise of nationalist populism in Europe, and the victory of Donald Trump in the 2016 US presidential election. He explores the use of communication as a weapon by Islamic State and other insurgent organisations, and by Putin’s Russia in its dealings with the West, including the hacking of Democratic Party emails in 2016. McNair argues that an expanding globalised public sphere and digital media network have transformed political communication, allowing political actors, from politicians and pressure groups to trade unions and terrorist organisations, to bypass traditional, established media in communicating their messages.
This sixth edition of McNair’s classic text has been comprehensively revised and updated to include:
- the 2016 US presidential election and Donald Trump’s rise to power;
- the UK’s EU referendum of 2016, the Scottish independence referendum of 2014 and the ‘snap’ UK general election of June 2017;
- the growing role in political communication of the internet and social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, and their destabilising impact on the management of political crises all over the world including the shooting down of Malaysian Airlines MH17 and the disappearance of MH370, the Tianjin disaster in China and the Russian intervention in Ukraine;
- Islamic State’s global jihad, and the use of social media as an instrument of terror;
- the growing capacity of WikiLeaks and other online sources, such as the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, to challenge elite control of information.
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