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Party–Press Parallelism

Paolo Mancini


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Colin Seymour-Ure (1974) was the first scholar to speak of a “parallelism” between parties and newspapers. In his view this refers to three main features: the ownership of the mass media by political parties, the editorial choices of the news organizations, and the party affiliation of the readers (→  Ownership in the Media ). Jay Blumler and Michael Gurevitch (1995) further developed this concept, slightly changing it (→  Freedom of the Press, Concept of ). In their view, party parallelism – or partisanship – includes “any organizational connections to political parties, the stability and intensity of editorial commitments and presence or absence of legal restraints on the rights of the media to back individual parties” ( Blumler & Gurevitch 1995 , 65). Even in the absence of organizational links, party parallelism in Blumler and Gurevitch's view may include also all those situations in which a news organization backs in a more or less stable condition a political party, either because of a historical tradition or because of contingent decisions (→  Balance ; Commentary ; Editorial ; Endorsement ; Neutrality ; Partisan Press ). While in Seymour-Ure's definition, the main feature of party parallelism was essentially the ownership of the news organization by the political parties determining a media content marked by a strong advocacy slant, Blumler and Gurevitch see ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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