HomeMediaUni expert warns election candidates perils of ignoring media

Uni expert warns election candidates perils of ignoring media

A senior La Trobe University expert says that Victorian election candidates may be ignoring local media at their peril.

Dr Kevin Brianton, Head of Department, Strategic Communication, Humanities and Social Sciences at La Trobe University commented on the trend for candidates to use local media less for their messages to voters, ahead of the 24 November poll.

“Clearly, social media is an important part of communication in today’s political environment,” Dr Brianton said.

“Social media has the advantage of immediate feedback and impact. You feel you are out there in the community. There is a type of instant gratification.

“Many media advisors – and most are very young – find it all consuming. They see the older demographics as having settled voting patterns, and there is little or no chance to alter their opinions.

“However, they may be ignoring the important for the urgent. We have seen with One Nation in Australia, Brexit in the UK, and Donald Trump – that older voters can and will use their political vote – to deliver some really blunt political results.

“Clearly, older members of the electorate do not use social media to the same degree as young members. They will read and digest local and regional newspapers. Young people are not reading newspapers.

“Placing an ad in the newspaper seems a bit daggy in this day and age, but it is reaching a demographic that increasingly feels left out by the major parties.

However, not all agree, with several sources telling Kinglake Ranges News that …

‘It’s just old fashioned print media afraid of losing advertising revenue from political party advertising and readers to online media in the lead up to the 24 November state election’.

“Most are from days’ gone by … like they’re still playing with carburetors when fuel injection came in years ago.”

As older generations pass on, this will change and local print media will be nothing more than junk mail.

Media experts agree that quality regional daily newspapers, such as the Launceston Examiner, Central Western Daily and The Border Mail, among other regional dailies will survive and even flourish.

Even Facebook, the behemoth of social media, is losing favour among young people ‘as my parents’ are on it now’.

So much has changed in technology alone, from ‘brick phones’ and ‘Netscape’ web browser, to today’s Facebook and Twitter. It’s only a matter of time before, they too, are replaced by something better in the view of users, especially young people.

Dr Brianton has more than 30 years’ experience in market research, journalism and public relations. He worked as both a consultant and as a manager in government and private industry.



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