- The Oxford Handbook of Political Communication
- Political Communication: Then, Now, and Beyond
- Creating the Hybrid Field of Political Communication: A Five-Decade-Long Evolution of the Concept of Effects
- The Shape of Political Communication
- A Typology of Media Effects
- The Power of Political Communication
- Nowhere to Go: Some Dilemmas of Deliberative Democracy
- How to Think Normatively About News and Democracy
- Not a Fourth Estate but a Second Legislature
- Presidential Address
- Political Messages and Partisanship
- Political Advertising
- Political Campaign Debates
- Niche Communication in Political Campaigns
- The Functional Theory of Political Campaign Communication
- The Political Uses and Abuses of Civility and Incivility
- The Politics of Memory
- Two-Step Flow, Diffusion, and the Role of Social Networks in Political Communication
- Taking Interdependence Seriously: Platforms for Understanding Political Communication
- Disagreement in Political Discussion
- The Internal Dynamics and Political Power of Small Group Political Deliberation
- Ethnography of Politics and Political Communication: Studies in Sociology and Political Science
- Self-censorship, the Spiral of Silence, and Contemporary Political Communication
- Collective Intelligence: The Wisdom and Foolishness of Deliberating Groups
- Broadcasting versus Narrowcasting: Do Mass Media Exist in the Twenty-First Century?
- Online News Consumption in the United States and Ideological Extremism
- New Media and Political Campaigns
- Political Discussion and Deliberation Online
- The Political Effects of Entertainment Media
- Theories and Effects of Political Humor: Discounting Cues, Gateways, and the Impact of Incongruities
- Music as Political Communication
- Conditions for Political Accountability in a High-Choice Media Environment
- Political Communication: Looking Ahead
Abstract and Keywords
This chapter begins by arguing for the importance of election campaigns. Next, it describes the Functional Theory of Political Campaign Discourse. Assumptions, key concepts, and predictions are discussed. The chapter then summarizes the research that has applied this theory to a wide variety of election campaign messages: US president (primary and general), non-presidential (Senate, House, gubernatorial, mayoral), non-US TV spots and debates, and news coverage of election campaigns. The three functions – acclaims, attacks, and defenses – and the two topics – policy and character – are discussed. The chapter discusses effects of campaign phase and incumbency on candidate messages. Finally, this chapter addresses limitations of this theory and directions for future research.
William L. Benoit (Ph.D. Wayne State University, 1979) is a Professor of Communication Studies at Ohio University. He has published journal articles, book chapters, and books on election campaign messages.
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