An exploration of Labour Party policy and debates on national newspaper ownership from 1972-2002, with regard to models for achieving pluralistic and democratic ownership of the media
AbstractThis thesis analyses how Labour Party discussions and policy development between 1972 and 2002 considered problems posed concerning political democracy and British press ownership and control. By examining the Labour policy formulated, and the surrounding debates, the thesis considers the extent to which policy corresponded to models for creating a pluralistic and democratic media that the first chapter outlines. The work also analyses to what extent the policy developed by Labour considered some of the difficulties with those models. It finds that the policy alternatives put forward in the earlier period considered in the thesis do not fully answer those difficulties. However, it is indicated that this does not provide sufficient explanation as to why, as happened, the policies were progressively abandoned. To explain why earlier commitments were jettisoned, firstly, the work analyses how press ownership policy was created within the Labour Party in this period, in the context of changes in party policy more generally. It identifies how the sectors involved in press policy creation changed. This is then considered in relation to various `classic' theories of Labour Party power relations. It concludes that an alternative Marxist analysis of party power relations provides an approximate explanation of policy creation. Secondly, the work posits that the pressure for Labour representation provided a tension with policies providing for press diversity and participative democracy. Moreover, it argues that this tension existed throughout the period from 1972 onwards. It considers the role of Labour representation in explaining the later thrust of Labour press policy within a hierarchy of influences, particularly the effect of going with the grain of economic globalisation.
CitationTunney, S. (2004). An exploration of Labour Party policy and debates on national newspaper ownership from 1972-2002, with regard to models for achieving pluralistic and democratic ownership of the media. University of Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton
PublisherUniversity of Wolverhampton
TypeThesis or dissertation
DescriptionA thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the University of Wolverhampton for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy
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