Research Output

Powers in the Land?

  The expansion of opinion is one of the key developments in the British press, as elsewhere. The article analyses the role of one of the most important types of commentator, newspaper political columnists, examining their credentials, sources, information society prospects, and putative impact. Using data from interviews with some of Britain’s leading journalists, the study is able to corroborate findings from a wide-ranging literature review. In addition, it formulates some preliminary hypotheses: that the effectiveness of a so-called pundit is a function of his or her willingness to remain focused upon a theme; that there is a positive correlation between a columnist’s political impact and the factual or informational content of the columns; and that a columnist is most powerful when complying with a broader newspaper campaign.

  • Type:


  • Date:

    01 June 2008

  • Publication Status:


  • Publisher


  • DOI:


  • ISSN:



Duff, A. (2008). Powers in the Land?. Journalism Practice. 2, 230-244. doi:10.1080/17512780801999386. ISSN 1751-2786



Political columnists; Punditry; British press; Sources; Factual information content; Power; Influence; Political process; Information society;

Monthly Views:

Available Documents