Article in the Local Paper, 9 November 2018
A senior University expert says that Victorian election candidates may be ignoring local newspapers at their peril.
Dr Kevin Brianton, Head of Department, Communication and Media at La Trobe university, was commenting on the trend for candidates to use local press less for their messages to voters, ahead of the November 24 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.
“I would suggest that candidates might be ignoring local newspapers at their peril,” Dr Brianton sai.d
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. The majority of his career has focused on government and political issues.