Journalism, Public Relations, and Spin

Authored by: William Dinan , David Miller

The Handbook of Journalism Studies

Print publication date:  November  2008
Online publication date:  January  2009

Print ISBN: 9780805863420
eBook ISBN: 9780203877685
Adobe ISBN: 9781135592011


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Public Relations (PR) is an expanding and increasingly significant feature of the contemporary media-scape. Despite academic and popular interest in propaganda, especially in times of armed conflict, understanding of routine domestic propaganda—PR or spin—is rather limited. The conventional view is that modern PR was invented in the United States in the early twentieth century, and later exported around the globe. A closer historical analysis suggests that spin was adopted as a strategic response by capital (and the state) to the threat of the extended franchise and organised labour (Miller & Dinan, 2008). The subsequent growth of the public relations industry is closely linked to corporate globalization (Miller & Dinan, 2003) and to forms of neoliberal governance, including deregulation and privatization (Miller & Dinan, 2000).

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