8 New Labour, New Britain. Campaign politics and the ethics of spin

Stephen Hayward

 

 

 

 

INTRODUCTION: ‘THE BATTLE OF SPIN’

In the opening weeks of the 1997 general election campaign the editors of The Daily Telegraph and The Guardian engaged in a frank exchange of views on the media’s handling of national politics. This was a brief, but highly revealing encounter in that the perceived seriousness of the event – reporting ‘the sacred moment in a democracy’, no less – obliged the contributors to work up an ethical position, something which under more mundane circumstances is liable to remain unspoken and intuitive. 1 The immediate catalyst was the electoral debut of Martin Bell, a former BBC war correspondent who stood as the independent ...

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