Chadwick, A. (2011) "Britain's First Live Televised Party Leaders' Debate: From the News Cycle to the Political Information Cycle" Parliamentary Affairs 64 (1), pp. 1-21.
Britain's first ever live, televised, party leaders' debate took place on 15 April 2010, during one of the most intriguing and closely fought general election campaigns in living memory. Arguably the most important single development in the media's treatment of politics since the arrival of television during the 1959 campaign, the leaders' debate and its aftermath provide a unique window on the political communication environment of contemporary Britain. This article focuses on the surrounding processes of mediation before, during and after the event, particularly the interactions between broadcasting, press and online media, including citizen opinion expressed and coordinated through online social network sites. A narrative reconstruction of journalists', political parties' and online activists' behaviour raises the question of whether traditional understandings of the "news cycle" should now be replaced by a broader concern with what I term "political information cycles": assemblages of personnel, practices, genres and temporalities in which supposedly "new" online media are increasingly integrated with supposedly "old" broadcast and press media.
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