Aston Martin: the power of PR within automotive journalism

By Mark Griffiths

For decades Journalism and PR have endured a chalk and cheese relationship: “There’s an essential tension that is caused by the constantly shifting balance of power- a classic love-hate relationship” (Barry, 2002, 60). Focusing on this delicate rapport, this paper explores the reporting of the 2009 Aston Martin Cygnet city car project and its reception within UK media. Contextualizing the use of Pr and media coverage shall also see me explore historical and contemporary examples within the automotive industry, ultimately emphasizing the interrelation of these two industries.

Like many young boys, Corgi’s Aston Martin DB5 with ejector seat was a favourite toy of mine. It represented everything an Aston Martin should be, cool, sophisticated and unlike a full size DB5, was affordable. The corgi DB5 helps convey many notions about Aston Martin and its successful alignment with the James Bond phenomenon. It also suggests its positive portrayal within the media, something we shall expand upon later. To begin we must look at the brand within recent contexts and changes of ownership. In turn we shall introduce the 2009 Cygnet city car project, exploring the influence of PR and media coverage whilst also interpreting how successful the venture has been juxtaposed to other mediated brand developments. Continue reading


Moral Panics: How Media Influences the Legislature

By Daljinder Nagra

The purpose of this paper is to analyse the role of news media in the shaping of legislation, through the social phenomenon of moral panics. The nature of moral panics and the media’s role in shaping public opinion will be discussed and their implications to the statute books analysed.

The moral panic

A moral panic is a recurring phenomenon in which a society expresses an intense reaction to a perceived situation. Cohen’s study of the Mods and Rockers subcultures yields perhaps the most widely accepted definition: ‘a condition, episode, person or group of persons emerges to become defined as a threat to societal values and interests.’ This is the start of a cycle, the next step of which is the reporting of the emergent deviance in a stylized and stereotypical manner by the mass media. Solutions are devised by ‘right thinking people and socially accredited experts’ and the panic finally dissipates or becomes more prominent as a result of failure to address the perceived threat. (Cohen 1972/80: 9). Continue reading

CAR 2.0: What does the future hold for a monthly automotive magazine?

By Sam Burnett

There’s something quite exciting about a magazine. Not the work producing it, but the sitting down and reading it. The smell, the feel, the discovery of what’s inside;the knowledge of being part of something bigger, knowing that there are thousands of other people sat opening, smelling, exploring their magazine.

It’s also quite apt that as I pull together some thoughts for this article that Tim Pollard, associate editor of CAR magazine, blogs about the excitement of a magazine (Pollard 2010). I wanted to look at what the future might hold for a magazine like CAR, faced with the challenge of the digital age. The internet is onto 4G or 3.0 or 3D whatever new experience is out there waiting to be experienced, but what about the magazine? They print them more colourful, much glossier, filled with pictures, they tweak the designs and they fiddle about with fonts, but what does magazine 2.0 look like? Continue reading

The Rise and fall of Top Gear?

By John O’Brien

The rise and rise in popularity of the BBC’s Top Gear, is both undeniable and unprecedented. So much so that people I grew up with, who have no interest in cars, or anything even slightly automotive related, are now avid viewers of the programme.

The Top Gear name is synonymous with motoring journalism, but is it for the right reasons? The watered down road tests now play second fiddle to three larger than life personas, heavily scripted jokes and general tom foolery: a distant cry from the early days of Quentin Wilson offering his opinion on whether an 8v Golf GTi was a better buy than a 16v.

But in attracting this larger audience, has the programme lost its way, the off the cuff witty humour that made it trendy and more importantly, alienated those viewers who made it popular in the first instance? Or has it had the opposite affect to this? In bringing in newer and younger viewers, has Top Gear opened up the world of motoring to thousands of children and the general public? Continue reading

Television. Is it really enough anymore?

By Alex Kersten

In an age of the obese, violence obsessed and the iPad, it seems that television will no longer satisfy the needs of today’s ever-evolving society. With web television now offering such a vast array of specialist subjects, spending a daily average of five hours in front of the box just isn’t doing it for us anymore. So where are consumers turning to, to get their much needed fix?

For those with an interest in any given subject, the internet has precisely what the customer is after. The amount of people doing hard time in jail proves this point rather uncomfortably. With videos of violence, pornography and terrorism posted every second, it seems that the internet has no limits. It seems also that internet programmes have society well and truly in their grip, especially the younger, more malleable generations. According to a survey by YouGov, over half of 18 to 24 year-olds watch series online, compared with 12 per cent of those over 55. More than one-third of 18 to 24 year-olds also say they expect to watch more online TV in the future.

‘James Kennedy, of YouGov’s Media Consulting team, likens the growth of online TV to the way the music industry was ‘revolutionised’ through the advent of sites that allowed users to download tracks for free’ ( Continue reading

Role of the Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty at the demise of communism in 1988-1991

by Elnur Kuliev


Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) are U.S sponsored radio stations which were launched as one of the combating weapons against communism in the Soviet Union and its satellite nations in the Eastern Europe. The main aim of this paper is to analyse the role played by an organisation at bringing demise in the Soviet Union and satellite states during an end of the Cold War (1988-1991). At first this paper will provide brief background information of the main aims of RFE/RL when it was inaugurated on 1950’s. Before focussing at the period of the demise of communism, the paper will briefly focus into the changes which happened to organisation during Hungarian Revolution of 1956.  Afterwards, this paper will analyse  how radio influenced the  movements which led to  the break-up  of communism in the Soviet Union, Baltic states and Romania during 1988-1991. Continue reading

How did blogs and citizen journalism provide commentary on the Obama Health Reform act?

By Shelley Stevenson

In the absence of more articulate discourse on American Health Reform by traditional media, blogs filled this relative void in the following ways:

  1. Providing information traditional media did not cover
  2. Providing a discussion forum – highlighting problems with the current Health Reform legislation and creating a dialog about them
  3. Linking to alternative views


Access by citizens to traditional media news in the United States has been declining for the past twenty years.  The internet has affected most traditional news sources, especially print, by providing an alternate way to access information.  This compounded with the migration of advertising to the web, and with the 2008 -09 recessions in the United States, led to an especially large number of newspaper closures, and ‘contractions in news operations’ (Curran 2010: 102).  The Christian Science Monitor and the Seattle Post ceased to exist in print at all, choosing to have only a web presence. Continue reading