Newspaper campaigning in Britain in the late 1990s

Howarth, Anita (2013) Newspaper campaigning in Britain in the late 1990s. In: Howley, K., (ed.) Media Intervention. New York, U.S.A. : Peter Lang. pp. 37-54. ISBN 9781433112119


Since the late 1990s there has been an expansion in the number of British newspaper campaigns, but studies have yet to explore the culture of this particular form of intervention in terms of its roots, mythology and how these have influenced its modern manifestations. This chapter argues that while the decision and the reasons for campaigning are likely to be made in secret, the particularities of campaign discourses, processes and practices can elucidate a much more sophisticated range of reasons that are not limited to a commercial imperative but they are also strongly infused by constructions of moral principles and journalistic values. The use of the war metaphor of a ‘campaign’ in the GM food case signified a clearly orchestrated and articulated determination to mobilize public opinion and influence policy. The agenda was broad-ranging, the objectives were clearly stated, the function of the campaign served to sustain pressure and the tactics adopted sought to negotiate challenges posed by this particular type of intervention. This chapter uses a critical case study of the GM campaigns to derive a fuller conceptualization of campaigns than has hitherto been possible and to distinguish it from other forms of media intervention.

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