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Public to private and back again: the role of politicians’ wives in British election campaign coverage

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journal contribution
posted on 10.12.2015 by Emily Harmer
The wives of politicians are a longstanding feature of electoral campaign coverage in the UK, and yet until now there has been no systematic study examining their role and mediated representation in political reporting. By drawing upon a sample of 630 newspaper items from five daily newspapers, this article will demonstrate that between 1918 and 2010 the representation of political wives has changed in three main ways. Firstly, their role in the campaign process changed from focusing more on their political function as active campaigners, to becoming more focused on their private lives. Secondly the coverage has narrowed from focusing on a broad range of politicians’ wives, to being centred almost entirely on the spouses of political party leaders. The final change is that the press reportage of politicians’ spouses has become increasingly negative and critical of their presence on the campaign trail.

History

School

  • Social Sciences

Department

  • Communication, Media, Social and Policy Studies

Published in

Feminist Media Studies

Pages

1 - 17

Citation

HARMER. E., 2015. Public to private and back again: the role of politicians’ wives in British election campaign coverage. Feminist Media Studies, 16 (5), pp. 852-868.

Publisher

© Taylor & Francis

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Publication date

2015

Notes

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Feminist Media Studies on 9th November 2015, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/14680777.2015.1105841.

ISSN

1468-0777

eISSN

1471-5902

Language

en

Exports