Pub. date: 2011 | Online Pub. Date: October 04, 2011 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412994163 | Print ISBN: 9781412959636 | Online ISBN: 9781412994163| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
It is not easy to define the boundaries of the field of political communication. The existing literature tries to limit the field as being characterized by the interaction of three main actors: political actors, the mass media, and the public. A fourth dimension is usually added to better define the field: The subjects of the exchange that takes place in political communication are related to matters of general interest. But even with this last addition, the field remains uncertain and difficult to be captured within a single definition. Indeed, all the different dimensions that are used remain vague and ambiguous and may be the subjects of different approaches and theoretical fields: How do we define political actors? Who are they? Are union leaders political actors? And what about interest group spokespersons? Are they political actors? Does what these actors accomplish concern the field of political communication? Or does it belong ...