In order for any politician to be successful, they need to tell a good story—one they can weave into their platform and policies, and one that grabs the voter’s attention. As a part of our minicast on politics, author Philip Seargeant discusses how narratives are used by conservatives and progressives, activist movements and conspiracy theorists, to create a political identity. Covering everything from the US presidential election to domestic terrorism to the climate strikes and Black Lives Matter protests, this episode is for anyone wondering how our leaders, our media, and the people around us are manipulating facts in the era of social media.
Philip Seargeant is an author and academic specialising in the study of language and communication. He teaches at the Open University, UK, where his research focuses on the relationships between language, politics and social media. He is the author of several award-winning educational films, and frequently works as a consultant for the BBC and other media outlets. His writing has appeared in publications such as The New European, Prospect, The Huffington Post and Wired.