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Escaping from the straitjacket: UK MPs and their e-newsletters

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Members of Parliament (MPs) want to communicate their ideas, messages and activities to their constituents. Within the modern political campaigning era the central party organisation has dominated most political communication through its control of national media management. As a result many MPs have sought to reach constituents via their local media. The rise of the post-modern era has encouraged many MPs to consider unmediated communication via the internet. E-newsletters represent a mechanism by which MPs can reduce their reliance on party hierarchies and journalists to communicate with constituents. This article will look at the growth of e-newsletters, and whether certain factors make some MPs more likely than others to provide an e-newsletter. The findings suggest that e-newsletters are a slow-moving bandwagon, with MPs in marginal seats and certain parties more likely to hop on, but that MPs have not yet escaped from the straitjacket of the centrally controlled campaign.
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Keywords: Communications; Electronic publishing; Internet; Politics; United Kingdom

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2004

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