Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: December 16, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412972048 | Print ISBN: 9780761929574 | Online ISBN: 9781412972048| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Spin refers to the emphasis placed on a certain interpretation of an event. In journalism, spin involves public relations (and other) professionals paid to emphasize a particular point of view, thereby seeking to manipulate or control the framing of news coverage. The practice of spinning stems primarily from public relations and marketing, though often at the expense of journalistic autonomy and fair and balanced reporting. The term spin originated with the spinning of yarn or fabric, or the weaving of a tale or a story. William Safire, political columnist and former speechwriter for President Richard Nixon and Vice President Spiro Agnew, suggested in 1975 that spinning was used in the 1950s as a means of telling events; the “spin on a story.” Others, including political scientist John Anthony Maltese and media researcher Jerry Palmer, attribute the beginnings of journalistic spin to the Nixon Administration's office of Communications (1969–74), the Public ...