Monday, 3 May 2010

Smears reinforce a false believe

The Guardian on Saturday has an interesting little article on the power of election smears.

This is in light of the smears by papers on their championed political party rivals such as the Daily Mail's Nazis smear on Nick Clegg. The article examines how much damage a smear actually does.

According to studies they found that if a dodgy fact fits with your prejudices then you will believe it and a correction only reinforces your prejudices rather than put them right. So this means that it could persuade people who were moving in a different voting direction back to their original vote.

I also believe as some papers appear to, that if you do enough smearing and find enough buttons to press that newspapers can stop people from voting for the rival party. The danger in this negative tactic of manipulating stories could be to stop a voter from voting for anyone including the party the paper supports.

So it would appear that smears do reinforce a false believe. Good job papers become less influential with time and the growth in information technology.

Todays link is to Sean Haffey a conservative Councillor in Hart District who asks a challenge, if that came about, which three policies would you like to see the new government implement? I will blog mine later this week.


  1. Papers becoming less influential will not stop the media in general putting across a biased view. With our politics becoming increasingly superficial the ability of the press and TV to influence the electorate is growing rather than diminishing. All the major parties realise this... win the propaganda war and you win the election. Rupert Murdoch is the key figure in this election.

  2. Unforunately Murdoch is still a key player