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Political radio and television advertisements in a young democracy: the 2009 South African national election campaign


Correspondence to: Lynnette Fourie, Communication Studies, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa.



It is argued that political parties in a developing democracy should contribute to sustaining democracy through their informational and motivational functions during election campaigns. Rather than debating the merit of issue messages, it is argued that cognitive and emotional campaign messages should be integrated, in order to not only attract voters' attention but also to inform the voter, to foster democratic values, to stimulate debate and to motivate voters to vote.

It was found that in the 2009 South African general election, South African political parties did not effectively integrate emotional and cognitive messages, but references to democratic values were integrated with the emotional messages. Few of the parties encouraged voters to participate in the election for the sake of sustaining the democracy. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.