Politics, Policy & Media it's all connected.

CategoryPolitical Communication

Hambantota port strike

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Originally written for socialmedia.lk. The comments here show the disconnect between the mainstream media in Sri Lanka and the public. To the MSM, the issue is about the alleged assault on a journalist; to the public, the issue is about a politically motivated strike to disrupt the attempt to make the port viable in the long-term. This is not to excuse attacks on journalists or strikers. It is an...

Voters & Prospect Theory: Trump Lessons Part 3

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This concept from Behavioral Economics is important in understanding why Trump won. Simply put, prospect theory posits that individuals are risk averse when facing favourable prospects but are more accepting of risks when faced with losses. In the case of the US elections, a significant number of voters had negative feelings about their current situation and their long-term prospects. They also...

Ideology: Trump Lessons Part 2

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The press takes him literally, but not seriously; his supporters take him seriously, but not literally. This was a great line from an article in The Atlantic and Trump’s billionaire backer Peter Thiel said much the same thing  I think one thing that should be distinguished here is that the media is always taking Trump literally. It never takes him seriously, but it always takes him...

Trump Lessons Part 1: picking your battles

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The problem from a political campaigning perspective with the type of handwringing articles we’ve seen about Trump’s sexism and racism is that they focus on the wrong thing. This happens in Sri Lankan politics too. In the latter, there is a tendency in some circles to focus on the wrong aspects of Mahinda Rajapaksa’s popularity and vote base. While it’s true that most if...

Strict fathers, Trump and Appachchi

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These articles quoting George Lakoff, one of the great thoughts leaders on political communication, about the influence moral frameworks and perceptions of parenting have on voters were very intriguing. He describes the two models as “strict father” and “nurturant parent.” In the former, he says, “the father knows best, the father knows right from wrong, and the job...

Roundup on politics, media & campaigning.

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There’ve been a few articles that caught my eye lately, but these two stood out in the context of this blog. The always excellent Matt Taibbi had an excellent piece on the current status of the news media in light of the US Presidential elections. But young audiences in particular tend to be incredibly turned off by the media-as-cheerleaders model of reporting. News audiences among the...

Authenticity and Framing

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This post about the repackaging of Hilary Clinton (in a manner similar to that of the sitcom character Leslie Knope) struck a cord with me; particularly in the context of authenticity and framing. She was preening and privileged, removed from the experience of normal people. She was too used to power and money to understand anyone but Washington insiders. She was so focused on her own career that...

Post-truth politics and facts

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With media gatekeeping being the topic of my previous post, this article brought up some points that are worth retreading. In many ways, it is a lament for the death of gatekeeping and a statement against what has been described as “post-truth politics”. This was the first major vote in the era of post-truth politics: the listless remain campaign attempted to fight fantasy with facts, but quickly...

Media gatekeeping & campaigning

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Having made frequent references to media disintermediation, I thought it would be instructive  to take a look at media gatekeeping. Particularly in light of the previous post on Brexit and the idea that electorates were “tired of experts”. Source Media gatekeeping in a traditional context meant that the flow of information and opinion went through a filter consisting of the traditional mainstream...

Experts, framing & communication

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“Not only were we facing the British establishment in the government, we also, in some ways, took on the world establishment because all these heads of government [including Obama] were coming out to say that Britain should remain in the E.U.,” he said. “It was quite a challenge to actually win this campaign with all the forces arrayed against us. At the end of the day, this was a people-versus...

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