Prof. Tamara Small’s comments on Doug Ford’s scrapping of the usual campaign media bus made national headlines on April 5. Small was quoted in the Globe and Mail, CBC News, CTV News and other outlets.
A professor in U of G’s Department of Political Science, Small said it’s not new for a politician to try to control campaign messaging by restricting media access. She talked about recent examples of politicians using their own photographers to capture events or restricting reporters’ questions in press scrums.
Small also discussed how Ford needs media attention to grow his profile and attract new votes. She said he might try to accomplish this in a more controlled setting such as holding one-on-one interviews with local media or by effectively forcing journalists to quote his tweets.
Ford — known for his off-the-cuff style of commenting — could become problematic, Small said, adding that she wouldn’t be surprised if his campaign team has a clear plan to operate very strategically during the campaign.
Examining e-campaigning in the last five Canadian federal elections, Small’s research focuses on the use of digital technologies by Canadian political elites. She has studied politicians’ use of social media and blogging, and has written about the Internet regulatory framework in Canadian elections.