Sunday, January 23, 2011

Spin Doctoring

The resignation of Andy Coulson from his job at 10 Downing Street of Director of Communications raises the question of why the media is regarded as being  of such importance in today's society that posts have to be created in government, church and virtually every other institution, for the main purpose it seems of spinning a good gloss on what often may be a sorry tale, for public consumption.

When society was under real stress such as  in WW II, leaders, seemed to be  able to lead by conviction rather than from perception with advice received about how the public might react to the leader's proposed action, which in turn is said to be influenced by the media spin put on the carefully timed advance or supposedly leaked, note about what the action might be. Even trying to write down the sequence of events surrounding  many leadership actions these days, is difficult because of the myriad of media spins that takes place  between draft policy formulation and eventual action.

 Bad publicity about leadership is not always symptomatic of actual poor leadership especially if the leader's thoughts and draft policies are carefully reflected upon before conversion into actions but substituting the court of public perception and opinion following the spin doctor's ministrations in that court, for real reflection, risks becoming  weak if not poor leadership.

 Pursuing well researched and reflected upon policy, in the face of poor press or public opinion can be a sign of strength.  Following the media view and courting public opinion can signify weakness and lack of confidence in the actions being taken.

I do hope that prime ministers kings and cardinals will   demote  status of  their media people and promote that  of their policy people. Leave the spin doctor and concerns about  what the papers might say, to the footballers, show biz and celebs  but let our leaders get real and lead from their own convictions not those of the media and others.

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