Pub. date: 2007 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952613 | Print ISBN: 9781412905794 | Online ISBN: 9781412952613| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Political communication is concerned with the role of communication within the political process. Consequently, the development of new forms of mass media at the turn of the twentieth century foreshadowed significant changes in the study and practice of this phenomenon. This was also the period when there was significant growth in adult literacy as well as a major expansion of the electoral franchise among the most advanced industrial societies. The arrival of (near) universal suffrage alerted political elites to the limitations of their traditional interpersonal forms of address and of the increasing need for them to be able to address a much enlarged, more heterogeneous public. Political communication through different media then became the norm for campaigns that increasing went beyond simply trying to inform or publicize an issue or candidature to seeking to engage and persuade a mass audience. Pioneering theorists with an interest in political communication recognized that ...