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Media Impact on Foreign Policy and Diplomacy in the UK

Info: 5433 words (22 pages) Dissertation
Published: 12th Dec 2019

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Tagged: International RelationsPolitics

Modern diplomacy has developed over the last four hundred years, adapting to changes in governments, communication, and most recently, technology. In addition, the changing communication scene in the diplomatic realm has led to the global media occupying a more and more prominent role in international diplomacy and foreign policy negotiation.

Whilst this is typically evident in conflict situations, thisresearch considers its impact on economic situations, most notably thereluctance of the UK to accept the euro, as well. The media is foundto both influence and be influenced by diplomatic and foreign policy practise regarding the adoption of the euro, and Britain’s integration into the European Union.

Diplomacy as we know it today is a constantly evolving practise. Historically conducted by professional representatives of sovereign states, usually in residence at various cities of global significance, changes in communication and technology over the past one hundred years have dramatically affected the way diplomacy is conducted. The global news media has emerged, particularly with the increased popularity of television in the past fifty years and now the internet, as a non-state actor in foreign policy. As the media as a whole neither represents or belongs to one sovereign state, this has caused a loss of control over information by diplomatic bodies, as well as changes in the role of public opinion and real-time information in diplomatic negotiations.

The media is said to exert what is called the CNN Effect, that is, that reporting certain stories in certain manners influences the public and politicians of a given nation, causing them to address an issue that might not otherwise be addressed, act more quickly, or simply “do something” in response to media coverage. Whilst there is some empirical and other data to support this role of the media, other roles of the media as a global actor must also be considered. For example, governments can use and even manipulate the media to present a certain view or gain support in other countries, and foreign policy and diplomacy methods and practises in turn have an impact on the media itself. These influences are most prevalent in situations regarding conflict and economic consequences, with conflict situations typically considered as part of research into the role of the media in diplomacy and foreign policy.

This dissertation seeks to consider the media’s role in current economic issues in the United Kingdom. Specifically, the ongoing drive to move the UK to the euro as its single currency, and the implications of this move or lack of move on the UK’s role and participation in the European Union will be considered. The use of the media by other European players and pro-Europe and pro-euro groups within the UK will be examined, with specific reference to the time period in which Chancellor Browne developed and announced the five tests that Britain would require for acceptance of the currency, from 1997 to 2003. The use of the media by those opposed to the euro and greater UK participation in Europe will also be examined, as will the government’s use of the media regarding the issue and possible referendum. Finally, the media’s impact on public opinion, foreign policy, and diplomacy regarding the euro and EU, with attention to the differences between media  organisations that support or oppose, will be examined.


As this dissertation seeks to consider the impact of the media on foreign policy and diplomacy, it is helpful to begin by considering thedefinitions and history of each, and the relationship between the two.They are often confused. Foreign policy is much broader and morestraightforward; it involves the official intentions and practices ofone sovereign nation in relation to the others around the world.Gilboa (2002, 732) further explains, providing a context for diplomacyas a practice within foreign policy. Basically, a nation firstconsiders and decides upon various policy options, positions, methods,and tactics, based primarily on influences, wants and needs from itsdomestic environment. The nation then moves into the second phase offoreign policy, interaction and diplomacy, which “entails implementingpolicies toward other actors, presenting positions and demands decidedin the earlier stage, and seeking solutions through confrontation,negotiation, or a combination of both” (Gilboa 2002, 732). Diplomacyis then a method or means by which foreign policy is implemented, andsometimes revised.

The concept of diplomacy may be further narrowed. Berridge (1995, 1)defines diplomacy as “the conduct of international relations bynegotiation rather than by force, propaganda, or recourse to law, andby other peaceful means such as gather information or engenderinggoodwill which are either directly or indirectly designed to promotenegotiation.” Watson (1984, 33) defines diplomacy as “negotiationbetween political entities which acknowledge each other’sindependence.” Gilboa (2001, 1) describes the term as primarilyapplying to international negotiation, “a communication system throughwhich representatives of states and international or global actors,including elected and appointed officials, express and defend theirinterests, state their grievances, and issue threats and ultimatums.”As such it can serve both as a means of contact, of clarifyingpositions, of gathering and seeking out information, and of bringingother actors on the international stage to support a particularposition (Gilboa 2001, 1).

Diplomacy “seeks to create a favourable image for a country’s policies,actions, and political and economic system, assuming that if publicopinion in the target society is persuaded to accept that image, itwill exert pressure on its government to alter existing, hostile,attitudes and policy” (Gilboa 2001, 5). It purposes to “either searchfor a compromise, or else transcend the dispute and to bring in a newelement that makes a wider agreement palatable to both sides” (Watson1984, 69). “Diplomacy is about what to do before one reaches the pointwhere resort is made to these other mechanisms, about extending theperiod up to that point as fast as possible and, once it is nonethelessreached, of maintaining dialogue with a view to resorting to thedialogical mode at the earliest possibility” (Neumann 2001, 16).

Diplomacy as it is practised today began in the 1400s in Italy, thefirst location of embassies representing various foreign countries(Berridge 1995, 1). Soon after, other European countries began to hostpermanent, resident embassies in their capitals and prominent cities(Berridge 1995, 2). This replaced the earlier practise of dispatchingenvoys only to deal with particular situations or tasks, andrepresented the increasing economic and cultural interaction betweenthe various cities and countries of Europe. Having a residentambassador allowed more influence due to a continuous role and anopportunity for gathering information useful to their principals. Italso opened the door for quiet negotiations, the kind not possible whenspecial envoys were dispatched (Berridge 1995, 2-3).

The practise of diplomacy, at least through the end of the First WorldWar, was based on several governing principles. The first, originallyarticulated by Machiavelli in the early 1500s, was that the objectiveof all foreign negotiations and communication was to advance theinterests of the principals the ambassadors or diplomats represented.Machiavelli saw the objective of a sovereign as to retain his realm andpossessions (Neumann 2001, 19). The diplomat was required, therefore,to have an intimate understanding of the character, wishes and bestinterests of his sovereign. The diplomat was responsible for beingknowledgeable of past, current and potential events, to keep openchannels of communication that would facilitate this flow ofinformation, and offer information in a reciprocal way that bothencouraged this communication and simultaneously advanced the aims ofhis principal (Machiavelli 1522/2002, 176). As he put it in a letterto a friend leaving to take an ambassadorship in Spain, “becomefriendly with all of them in order to worm out of each of them whatthey know” (Machiavelli 1522/2002, 176).

Although diplomacy is a practise of communication and negotiationwithout resorting to the force of law, there were and are protocols andrules governing it. Grotius argued in the fifteenth century that“sovereign states can be fully and truly legitimate only if theyacknowledge the duties they owe to each other and to a common humanityby acting in accordance with the customary rules” of diplomacy andinternational law (Bacchus 2001, 3). When nations interact with eachother in a civilised fashion, they naturally develop such a “law ofnations,” that is, “law that is developed by the collective will of allor many nations, and that draws its obligatory force from the combinedwill of all or many nations” (Bacchus 2001, 3). Functional diplomacy,therefore, requires that actors in the diplomatic community, bothindividuals and nation-states, must have mutual respect for eachothers’ rights. “This is a notion that assumes a single humanity, acommon humanity that transcends the artificial and ever-changing limitsof national borders, and that binds us together above and beyond allthe boundaries of nationality, race, religion, or any other superficialdistinction that might somehow obscure our basic oneness” (Bacchus2001, 3).

Protocols amongst those in diplomatic circles were often ceremonial andcomplex, used to stroke the egos of the sending and host countries’rulers, flatter allies, and promote final decisions (Bettridge 1995,5). Many diplomats were professionals, and the diplomaticrepresentatives from a variety of countries resident in one city oftenfunctioned as a unified “diplomatic corps” with its own rules andprocedures. This further allowed the professional ambassadors todevelop relationships with and understandings of each other, whichoften greatly facilitated communication and negotiation between theirvarious resident missions (Bettridge 1995, 8-9). Most consulrepresentatives additionally functioned as part of the aristocraticclass of that particular city, further reinforcing their relationshipswith each other (Bettridge 1995, 13).

Another primary feature of diplomacy prior to the end of the firstWorld War was secrecy. By keeping both the fact and content ofdiplomacy out of the public eye, diplomats were able to walk away fromtalks when necessary, reveal weaknesses or areas lacking clarity whereappropriate, and package the final results of negotiations in a waythat appeared as a “win” for their side. Concessions were not requiredto be explained, nor positions defended until a final settlement wasachieved, greatly freeing participants to pursue alternate negotiationoptions (Berridge 1995, 4-5). In addition, diplomats had much greatercontrol of the information available to other parties involved in anegotiation, and could use the expression of such information, or lackthereof, to their advantage. According to Machiavelli “if you havesomething to hide, you should possess of great skills to see that itdoes not come to light” (Machiavelli 1522/20 02, 175).
This changed following the First World War, when Woodrow Wilson andothers proposed openly arrived at communications, proceeding “alwaysfrankly and in the public view” (Gilboa 2001, 1). This “newdiplomacy” was adopted across the international arena, and secrecy ismuch more rare and less prized in diplomacy today, even though itseffectiveness is still recognised. For example, Europe’s Organisationfor Security and Cooperation’s High Commissioner on National Minoritiescontends that lack of media coverage is often an advantage because itallows invisible and quiet behind-the-scenes diplomacy to be used,which he considers the key to successful prevention of internationalconflict (Jakobsen 2000, 139). As far as negotiations are concerned,little has changed as far as options for settling a dispute in the pastfour hundred years. Grotius laid out the best possible methods forpeaceful settlement of conflict as a nego tiation leading to aresolution, where there is compromise on the part of some or all of theparties involved (Chen 2005). This typically now happens in a muchmore public forum than was the practise even a hundred years ago.

A final principle governing the practise of diplomacy is credibilityand honesty. Obviously, those involved in a negotiation must assume atleast some honestly and commitment on the part of others participating,of the whole thing is simply a waste of time. In this arena, diplomacymay be helped by an increase in public involvement, as it helps to keepall the players both honest and committed. In situations where thehonesty or intentions of players is suspect, as Wight (1979, 89)describes, ‘politics tend to break down the important distinctionbetween diplomacy and espionage’, and between diplomacy andpropaganda. “Diplomacy is the attempt to adjust conflicting interestsby negotiation and compromise; propaganda is the attempt to sway theopinion that underlies and sustains the interests” (Wight 1979, 89).Therefore, whilst the three basic functions of diplomacy areinformation, negotiation, and communication, in less than honestsituations, the functions of diplomacy are often perverted, emerging asespionage, subversion and propaganda (Wight 1979, 115-117). This ismore difficult in a non-secret diplomatic setting.

A final wrinkle in the changing face of diplomacy, and the focus ofthis dissertation, is the emergence in the past century of the globalmedia as a separate and distinct player in both diplomacy and greaterforeign policy and affairs. It is widely recognised that the globalnews media have affected both the policy-making and the interactivephases of foreign policy (Gilboa 2002, 732). Some politicians andjournalists have even suggested “the convergence of the revolutionarychanges in politics and communication has created a new media-dominatedgoverning system” (Gilboa 2001, 3). “Modern diplomacy, once a largelyone-dimensional, nation-to-nation process, is now a multi-dimensionalenterprise in which so-called ‘non-state’ actors and foreign publicsplay an increasingly prominent role” (Ross 2003, 22).

Governments can and do purposefully use various media to send messagesto other international actors. In this sense, they are harnessing thepower of the media to promote their own foreign policies (Gilboa 2001,10). Often called media diplomacy, this “refers to officials’ uses ofthe media to communicate with state and nonstate actors, to buildconfidence and advance negotiations, and to mobilize public support foragreements. Media diplomacy is pursued through various routine andspecial media activities including press conferences, interviews andleaks, as well as visits of heads of state and mediators to rivalcountries and spectacular media events organised to user in new policyeras” (Gilboa 2001, 10).

This new form of diplomacy is one of “direct communication with foreignpeoples, with the aim of affecting their thinking and, ultimately, thatof their governments” (Gilboa 2001, 4). Some countries have even begunh iring public relations firms, particularly in the US and Europe, tosway opinion in favour of their governments (Gilboa 2001, 5-6).“Policies can still be forged in private, confidential talks amongprofessional diplomats, much as they were 200 years ago, but no policyinitiative can succeed over the long term without the understanding andsupport of multiple foreign publics and other non-state actors” (Ross2003, 22).

2b.The CNN Effect

Whilst historically diplomacy took place between diplomats and theirrepresentative nation-states, the past decades have seen a new playeremerge on the global stage. As Gilboa (2002, 731) contends, “thecommunication and information revolutions of the 20th century havefundamentally and irreversibly changed the meaning of power ininternational relations, the making of policy in defense and foreignaffairs, and the conduct of diplomacy.” Changes in media availabilityand immediacy, primarily from television and the internet, “havealtered the meaning of power in contemporary world politics,” now it is“a nation or leader’s image and control of information flow, and notjust their military and economic power, that help determine theirstatus in the international community” (Gilboa 2001, 2). Governmentscan now gain information from the media in additional to traditio nalinformation sources. However, the public is also provided with thisinformation simultaneously. In this way, the media influencesdiplomacy through both direct impact on government representatives andby informing and directing information to the general public.

The impact of the media on information availability cannot beunderestimated. Europeans consistently identify the media, primarilytelevision and newspapers with increasing reliance on the internet, astheir most important sources for information, with “more than sixty percent of the citizens across the EU member states naming television newsand forty per cent naming daily newspapers as the most importantsources for acquiring information about European affairs” (de Vreese2004, 47; Semetko, de Vreese, and Peter 2000, 121). The number anddiversity of media outlets is also increasing. The past two decadeshave seen a shift from public broadcasting to commercial broadcastingof news in Great Britain. Significantly, this has led to an increasedpressure for ratings and viewership, which some contend has changed thenature and substance of television news reporting in the country(Semetko, de Vreese, and Peter 2000, 122). The EU ote s “TelevisionWithout Frontiers” Green Paper, published in 1984, and updated in 1997,sought to “open national borders for a flow of television programmescreating a single market for broadcasting, unhindered by nationallegislation” (Semetko, de Vreese, and Peter 2000, 123).

Particularly significant in the global impact of television journalismare two channels, CNN and BBC World, both “key 24-hour news networkswatched in newsrooms, diplomatic enclaves and middle-class homes acrossthe globe” (Thussu 2002, 206). CNN alone is available to over 800million people worldwide; the CNN News Group includes six cable andsatellite television networks, two radio networks, fourteen websitesclaiming almost twenty-five million hits a day, and the world’s mostextensive syndicated news service, which includes 42 bureaus and morethan 200 international affiliates. The CNN International cable andtelevision broadcasts “can be seen in more than 160 million televisionhouseholds in 212 countries and territories across the world through anetwork of 23 satellites” (Thussu 2002, 207). The other global mediagiant, although not nearly with the reach of CNN, is BBC World, theBritish Broadcasting Corporatio n’s 24-hour global news and informationchannel, which is available for viewing in more than 167 million homesin over 200 countries globally (Thussu 2002, 206). The power of thesenews media outlets is such that “even US adversaries, such as Iraq in1991 and Serbia in 1999, continued to allow CNN broadcasts during theconflict” (Thussu 2002, 206).

The “CNN Effect” is a theory that “claims that in international crisissituations global television has become the dominating actor in theconduct of foreign policy, replacing elected and appointed policymakers” (Gilboa 2002, 732). This theory is based on the testimoniesfrom major policy makers in several recent political crises that theirdecisions were impacted by global television (Gilboa 2002, 733). Forexample, media pressure has been directly linked to John Major’sdecision to overrule his advisors and intervene in Iraq; one of hisadvisors is quoted that the Prime Minister was “panicked by newspaperheadlines” in the situation (Jakobsen 2000, 134). The CNN Effectcontends that the media covers some situation of suffering and/oratrocity, and through such coverage and the way it is presentedjournalists and opinion leaders are able to assert that Westerngovernments must respond. The public pressur e for some sort of actionin response to the situation grows, until the government is forced tobecome involved (Jakobsen 2000, 132). The result is that officialshave lost at least some policy control to various global media, andleaders “no longer make decisions on the basis of interests but ratherare driven by emotional public opinion aroused by television coverage”(Gilboa 2002, 734).

Global media involvement has fundamentally changed the focus with whichinternational actors respond to international issues. The immediateresponse required by the CNN Effect unfortunately has been documentedto cause global actors to emphasise short-term crisis management andemergency relief as a response, rather than focus on “long-term effortsdirected at preventing violent conflict and rebuilding war-tornsocieties” (Jakobsen 2000, 133). In most situations, emergencyhumanitarian assistances is used in place of effective (and more costlyto the West) “long-term engagement that is aimed at addressing the rootcauses of the crisis” (Jakobsen 2000, 139). “The selective nature ofthe media’s conflict coverage creates another problem because fundsfollow the cameras” (Jakobsen 2000, 139). When media coverage moves onto the next crisis, funds are typically withdrawn, leaving the area ina situation of oft en as great a need as before the media beganreporting. In addition, there are so many crisis situations andhumanitarian needs worldwide that the media is usually slow to cover aspecific incident until it becomes violent or mass starvation or someother catastrophe has killed large numbers of people (Jakobsen 2000,133). In addition, even extreme conflicts may not be covered at all orin a very limited scope, with the “silent emergencies” far outnumbering“louder” or more violent situations (Jakobsen 2000, 133).

Another documented result of the involvement of the global media indiplomacy has been the change in speed with which decisions must now bemade. When communications are received, decisions must be soonforthcoming, or the world will see the players in the decision-makingprocess as weak or undecided. However, policy makers would often dowell if allowed more time to make important international decisions.They often no longer have that option. “In an age of satellitetelevision and the internet, policy messages must be not only accurate,but fast. Silence is a vacuum that the media will fill with someoneelse’s viewpoint” if policy makers or government actors do notparticipate (Ross 2003, 24). Further, foreign policy and negotiationsmust be constantly communicated in a way that the public can access,not just more knowledgeable diplomatic personnel. In today’s world ofglobal communication, policy makers must recognize that te a policythat cannot be explained clearly and understandably, to many differentaudiences, is not sustainable” (Ross 2003, 22). According to USAmbassador Christopher Ross, foreign policy and public diplomacy havebecome “inextricable and integrated throughout the process of policyformation and implementation” (Ross 2003, 22). “It is equally vital tosystematically address the slower pulse of public attitudes, to connectwith human emotions and perceptions where our values and worldviewsreside most deeply” (Ross 2003, 23).

A number of research studies, however, have concluded that globaltelevision is only truly a controlling actor when there is significantpolicy uncertainty and need of framing of a particular situation orcrisis (Gilboa 2002, 735). That is, whilst the media can influence theissues of highest priority to the general public and the speed andmanner in which they are addressed, the media has not been shown toactively influence the broader policy decisions of governments.Jakobsen (2000, 138) concludes that most of the time, “the impact ofmedia coverage on Western conflict management is less direct than theCNN Effect argument suggests.” General consensus now holds that themedia typically acts as a constraining actor, where the media can forcepolicy makers to address an issue but not control their ultimate policydecision (Gilboa 2002, 736).

Semetko, de Vreese, and Peter (2000, 136) quote Bernard Cohen that “thepress may not be successful much of the time in telling people what tothink, but it is stunningly successful in telling people what to thinkabout.” They further cite a study of more than 200 investigations intothe influence of the news media as an agenda-setter and conclude thereis ample empirical evidence “that the visibility of an issue in thenews influences the perceived importance of that issue by the public”(Semetko, de Vreese, and Peter 2000, 136). “What is available in themedia and most readily accessible in people’s minds is given greaterweight in the formulation of evaluations” (Semetko, de Vreese, andPeter 2000, 137). The media provides context, or framing, for issuesin the minds of the public. That is, media organisations selectparticular aspects of a situation, thereby excluding others, “organizesthose aspects around a central idea, and thus, puts emphasises on howto look at and interpret those aspects” (Semetko, de Vreese, and Peter2000, 137).

As the public is directed in what to think about, they further use thiscriteria in making a number of evaluations, such as the effectivenessof their government and leaders, the appropriate course of action fortheir country, and the most pressing issues of the day. “Primingtheory posits that public evaluations of political leaders are made onthe basis of how leaders perform on issues that are on the top ofcitizens’ mind when they are formulating their evaluation” (de Vreese2004, 45). “The information provided by the media, in particular thenews media, is a key source of information and cues for citizens…citizens rely on information that is most easily brought to mind andthis information is largely dependent on media content” (de Vreese2004, 46). The theory contends that citizens form and express theirevaluations based on the most “newly acquired and readily accessibleinformation,” givin g the media with a late-breaking story substantialopportunity for impact (de Vreese 2004, 47).

This introduces the idea of “framing,” that the media not only controlsthe topics at the forefront of public consideration but provides acontext for the general public to understand and process these issues.Framing consists of two components: first, the media decides howissues will be presented and covered in the news. This is usually basedon economic concerns, which will be addressed shortly. They do so in aplanned way, encouraging viewers to perceive, organize, and interpretissues or events in a particular manner (de Vreese, Peter and Semetko2001, 107). Certain aspects of the issue or event are included andemphasised, others are excluded or deemphasised, to present the viewingpublic with a context for becoming involved or interested in the issueor event (de Vreese, Peter and Semetko 2001, 108). “Previousinvestigations of frames in the news have a strong ethnocentric bias,both in terms of the issues examined an d the geographical focus of thestudies… the contents and effects of the news media is often based onnational studies, suffering somewhat from “naive universalism” byoffering general theoretical propositions based on single-country data(de Vreese, Peter and Semetko 2001, 108).

Frames emphasising conflict and economic consequences have beenconsistently found to be the most common frames used by the media, asthey are the ones most likely to encourage continued or repeatviewership (de Vreese, Peter and Semetko 2001, 109). Conflict frameshighlight “disagreement between individuals, institutions, or countriesand emphasizes the points of divergence between conflicting parties…The presence of conflict is consistently listed as one of the mostimportant criteria for identifying which events will become newsstories” (de Vreese, Peter and Semetko 2001, 110). Frames of economicconsequences concentrate on the “bottom line” of economic advantage,and news producers “often use the consequence frame to make an issuerelevant to their audience” and therefore increase viewership orreadership (de Vreese, Peter and Semetko 2001, 109-110).

The framing and issue choice based on commercial considerations, thatis what stories will sell the most papers or encourage the mostviewers, has been documented to “act as a blocking mechanism againstnews events that cannot be sold,” and often lead to a “distortedpresentation of events to make them more marketable” (Thussu 2002,211). For example, historical evidence shows that wars, particularlyshort, bloody wars, are generally good news stories for papers and inparticular for television networks (Thussu 2002, 210). “Televisinglive conflict can be particularly profitable if it concerns a patrioticwar” (Thussu 2002, 210). However, “media coverage of a conflict isnext to impossible to sustain unless Western troops are killed ormassacres of civilians occur” (Jakobsen 2000, 135). In addition, thoseconflicts closest geographically and culturally to the West, and thosewith some eco nomic influence are also most likely to receivecoverage. On the other hand, “International news channels andnewspapers pay little attention to the successes of preventivediplomacy” (Jakobsen 2000, 134).

2c.Using the Media in Diplomacy

In addition to simply responding to the media’s actions or coverage ofevents, governments and state-actors in the international arena havelearned to use the media to further their own diplomatic agendas. Thebest examples of this come from the United States, who has made almosta science of using the media to advance its intended policies and shapeopinion regarding them (Gilboa 2001, 10). They first began thesystematic supplying of the media with diplomatic and foreign policyinformation in the 1960s, instituting a regular use of the pressconference as a way to present the government’s positions and plans tothe public (Gilboa 2001, 5). This is often combined with carefullygranted interviews, in which various officials speak on specific topicwith media personnel, guaranteeing a topic will be covered in thenightly news and papers (Gilboa 2001, 10). For example, in the firstGulf War and the 1994 intervention in Haiti, the United States government used the news media to legitimate its policies, rather thanhaving been driven by the news media to take action (Jakobsen 2000,134).

Governments also use the media to advance their policies and viewsthrough limiting or granting access to various members of the media.For example, when Tony Blair travels to Brussels, certain members ofthe media are typically invited to accompany him and thereby grantedincreased access to his agenda and plans. This allows them to reportstories other media outlets may not have access to, but at the sametime is used by government officials to control or at least influencethe stories being put forth (Jakobsen 2000, 135). Henry Kissinger,former Secretary of State in the US, was one of the first diplomats toregularly allow a group of reporters to accompany him on his officialduties, and Kissinger is recognised as a master of information controlwho used these media representatives to both his own and the UnitedStates’ advantage in foreign negotiations (Gilboa 2002, 739).

In addition to providing increased access to a select group ofreporters, the United States government has also been documented to usestrategic leaks, another way governments can manipulate the media intoreports they desire to be advanced. Again, in a leak situation themedia representative or outlet receiving the leak has a story notavailable to their competition, which is potentially profitable forthem. The officials providing the leak can then refuse responsibilityfor the information being advanced, whilst obtaining their objective atthe same time (Gilboa 2002, 740). Sometimes officials use leaks topromote their own agendas, or at least agendas at odds with the party’sin power. For example, leaks regarding Tony Blair’s concern regardingRupert Murdoch were leaked to the press, and eventually became part ofa Channel 4 documenta

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