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Spin Doctor
Spin doctor

The phrase spin doctor entered British political vocabulary during the late 1980s and its meaning is captured broadly by the entry in Chambers 21st Century Dictionary as ‘someone, especially in politics who tries to influence public opinion by putting a favourable bias on information presented to the public or to the media’. The term has a strongly pejorative implication suggesting that the spin placed on information is misleading and may be consciously intended to be so: spin doctors manipulate rather than merely manage news agendas (Gaber, 2001; Jones, 1995). Consequently, Clare Short, while a minister in the Labour Government, denounced the ‘black arts’ of the spin doctors in her own party, designating them ‘the people who live in the dark shadows’ (Blick, 2004).

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