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The goal of every public appearance or interview by a politician is to “stay on message”. In itself, it’s not a malign tactic but the constant repetition of the same messages without answering questions can be a form of obfuscation. AAP Image/Lukas Coch

The vomit principle, the dead bat, the freeze: how political spin doctors’ tactics aim to shape the news

Any good political spin doctor employs a range of overt and covert tactics to get their message across. Here are some of the most common ones.
Leaders like Burundi’s President Pierre Nkurunziza, captured here playing football while his country is engulfed in turmoil, need to keep their eye on the ball and communicate effectively during times of crisis. Reuters/Goran Tomasevic

Why African leaders need to learn better communication skills

Rather than viewing the media as enemies, African leaders should take a leaf from some Western politicians' books and consider journalists as potential allies.

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