This book explores the role of television in the 1950s and early 1960s, with a focus on the relationship between Tories and TV. The early 1950s were characterized by recovery from war and high politics. Television was a new medium that eventually came to dominate mass media and political culture. But what impact did this transition have on political organization and elite power structures? Winston Churchill avoided it; Anthony Eden wanted to control it; Harold Macmillan tried to master it; and Alec Douglas-Home was not Prime Minister long enough to fully utilize it. The Conservative Party’s relationship with the new medium of television is a topic rich with scholarly questions and interesting quirks that were characteristic of the period. This exploration examines the changing dynamics between politics and the media, at grassroots and elite levels. Through analysing rich and diverse source materials from the Conservative Party Archive, Anthony Ridge-Newman takes a case study approach to comparing the impact of television at different points in the party’s history. In mapping changes across a thirteen year period of continual Conservative governance, this book argues that the advent of television contributed to the party’s transition from a membership-focused party to a television-centric professionalized elite.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages168
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-137-56254-8
ISBN (Print)978-1-137-56253-1
StatePublished - Oct 2016

Publication series

NamePalgrave Studies in the History of the Media

    Research areas

  • The Conservative Party, The Tory Party, television, party change, Political Science, Political Communication, Media History, political parties

ID: 286015