Posts Tagged ‘public opinion#8217;

28
Mar

The Transnational Connections Special Section has published!

Written on March 28, 2012 by magdalena.wojcieszak in News

 

The International Journal of Communication (IJoC) is pleased to announce the publication of a new Special Section, Transnational Connections, edited by Magdalena Wojcieszak, Assistant Professor and Ademic Director, Masters in Political Communication, IE University.

We are reminded daily that the world is increasingly “globalized,” that communication is transnational where new media technologies transcend boundaries, and that problems in one region generate far-reaching effects. These trends give political communication scholars a unique opportunity and obligation to engage in dialogue and comparative research. What can be learned from thinking about media and political communication as transnational? What are the similarities and the differences in academic and professional approaches to political communication in various contexts? What are the challenges and the opportunities for international research in the field?

The IE University organized the symposium Transnational Connections, which took place in Segovia to address these questions. The Symposium consisted of a series of roundtables, and the four essays gathered in this Special Section reflect the ideas expressed by participants in these roundtables. The essays explore how new media technologies and increased transnationality affect political communication theory, research and practice. The essays touch on a range of issues including theoretical and conceptual trends in the field; differences and similarities between U.S.-based and non-U.S.-based political communication research; how to integrate theory and findings among various regions; and how to study political communication in an environment dominated by new information technologies.

Collectively, these papers provide important reflections on the present and the future of political communication as a theory, research and practice.

Read this new Special Section at http://ijoc.org.

25
Jan

A Politician versus Coca Cola – What is the Difference?

Written on January 25, 2012 by magdalena.wojcieszak in News

Whether we like it or not, political campaigns have become increasingly professionalized, with candidates relying on consultants and analysts to design an effective campaign. These consultants constantly rely on information about citizens’ attitudes, behaviors, voting intentions and policy preferences to craft campaign messages and reach specific target groups with specific policy proposals via specifically selected media channels.

This trend has started in the US, where no presidential or congressional election is possible without the presence of a multi-million dollar political consulting industry.  In the recent years, this trend has spread, with consulting agencies mushrooming around the globe, trade organizations uniting thousands of consultants, advisors and pollsters anywhere between Europe and Latin America and with consultants from one country advising on electoral campaigns internationally (as was the case, for example, with Frank Luntz from the US helping the British Conservatives or Silvio Berlusconi in Italy years back . The professionalization of campaigns has lifted some consultants to the status of celebrities, often appearing in the media and likely earning more than the politicians they help to elect (e.g., James Carville from the left or Frank Luntz from the right of the political spectrum). Meantime, critics have blamed the industry for increasing the costs of political campaigns and the resulting marginalization of candidates from minor political parties.

But, what exactly is political consulting? What is the precise role of those who advise on electoral campaigns? Is “selling” a political candidate similar to selling toothpaste or a specific brand of beer? Are we correct to blame campaign advisors for the ills of modern democracies?

If you are interested in these processes and would like to know the answers to these questions, the next seminar “Scientists and Professionals in Communications” is for you.

On February 9th, Alfredo Franco, Senior Consultant at Redondo & Asociados, Public Affairs Firm will shed light on these issues. In his talk, titled “Political consulting — changing minds, mobilizing to action and winning votes” he will not only show that political consulting – while being a sexy trend in communications – also necessitates comprehensive knowledge and specific skills. In addition, Alfredo will discuss the differences between marketing a political candidate and a product, showing what makes a political consultant different from an advertising consultant. These issues are also part of the new Master Program in Political Communication, to be launched by IE University in October, 2012.

The seminar will take place on Thursday, February 9th, 18.30-20.00, Madrid time.

Location: Maria de Molina 27, M-001, Madrid.

Important: the seminar will be streamed!

If you are interested in joining the Master Program in Political Communication or one of the other Communication programs, please register for the event at: http://info.ie.edu/request/inicio.aspx?events={74afda18-8a43-e111-8310-005056b42592}&idioma=eng

Otherwise, please register as a guest: http://meet.ie.edu/ieuniversidadsc/

23
Oct

Occupy Wall Street – Transforming towards Transformation

Written on October 23, 2011 by magdalena.wojcieszak in News

We daily receive overdoses of updates on the Occupy Wall Street movement: images in the newspapers, links on Facebook, updates on Twitter, and photos of the protesters on the world’s most popular blogs. The movement has spread to more than 60 cities internationally, leading Jon Stewart to note that it has become “the Hard Rock Cafe of leftist movements.”

Also, public opinion polling organizations are reporting that a growing number of Americans are paying attention to news about Occupy Wall Street, and that there is a general support for its goals.  “A great success” one may say.

“But what goals?” another may ask. Yes, we know about the general dissatisfaction with the economic inequality (larger in the US than in most Western nations and than in either Tunisia or Egypt), about the rising unemployment, about the fact that most governments  tend to support the rich and powerful and contribute to perpetuation of the status quo for the 99%.

But these are facts, injustices, and problems (some of which are nation-specific, most of which are global), around which the Occupy Wall Street movement and its supporters unite.

These are not goals or solutions. What are the specific goals of the Occupy Wall Street that the American public is said to support? More important, how should these goals be reached?

At a recent conference in Matadero in Madrid, Zygmunt Bauman, a prominent Polish philosopher and sociologist,  poignantly noted that the Occupy Wall Street movement and its global supporters should replace change with transformation. The former indicates dissatisfaction and desire to abolish the established order and transformation implies that it is known what will come after the change and how it will be accomplished. Transformation, in other words, is directional and purposeful.

“How to get there?” and “Is there a there to which to get?”

Addressing these questions, transforming towards transformation so to speak, is the next step for this growing international movement. Addressing them will – hopefully – contribute to real reforms and prevent the movement from staying in its infancy. After all the Arab Spring has not yet seen its Summer…

If you have any comments and ideas on how this may be accomplished – let us know and we will spread the word towards Wall Street.

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