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The Prime Minister's policy speech : a case study in televised politics

CollectionsANU Press (1965- Present)
Title: The Prime Minister's policy speech : a case study in televised politics
Author(s): Hughes, Colin A
Date published: 1966
Publisher: Canberra, ACT : Australian National University Press
Before the Australian federal election of 1963 the then Prime Minister, Sir Robert Menzies, announced that he would deliver his policy speech over nation-wide television. Instead of his usual mixed audience of supporters and hecklers he would have in front of him only a selection of Liberal Party members, and would himself be quite unaware of the immediate impact of the speech. This method of presenting policy had never before been used in Australia. This is a study of about 250 Canberra voters who viewed the policy speech. It examines the effect of this intensive political communication, delivered by one of Australia{u2019}s most effective political leaders, and traces its impact on the knowledge, attitudes, and opinions of the group. It is the first such detailed study undertaken in Australia, and provides both a testing of theories of cognitive equilibrium in relation to voting behaviour and an examination of the use of television in political communication.


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