POLITICAL PR, MEDIA AND SPIN DOCTORING
Text topic: Modern Media and PR
Text author: Radenko Šćekić
Along with political organizations and the citizens, the media are also participants in the political communication. The phenomena of the influence of the media and the influence on the media are obvious. Political stakeholders need to use the media in order to make sure that their messages are transmitted to the targeted public. So, in time, politicians become more and more of actors striving to present themselves to the public in their best possible light. The executors of the propaganda activities are not only propaganda experts who shape the propaganda messages but also the technical staff who ensure that the propaganda messages are transmitted to recipients through information technologies – they are spin doctors as well. “To spin” (to turn, to roll, to rotate), and so a “spin doctor” – an image consultant, a political consultant, but also a person who is skilled and trained to manage information and manipulate the mass media; spin control – dressing of the information, public announcements, event directors and information dispensers. The term “spin doctoring” refers to a set of activities: defense of journalists, approval or disapproval of interviews, instructing those who give interviews on what to say or not to say, as well as commenting of the stories and journalists’ writings and underlying specific sentences and interpretations. Spin doctors claim that they only accelerate the process of expanding specific news and information. Spin doctors have a lot in common with a special media councilor – a person in charge of media releases and public relations. Spin-doctoring is the art of “plotting” the strategies of public relations to give the news a desired direction of interpretation.