Center Stage

Center Stage : Media and the Performance of American Politics

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Exploring political communication as theater, Center Stage shows how American civic culture is both enriched and diminished by the ways journalists organize narratives about civic life. This up-to-date text focuses on issues such as politics as representational theater, economic forces shaping political media, and growth of new media. Covering contexts from the presidency and Congress to political art, Center Stage suggests additional pathways for imagining our national life, including Internet-supported activism and innovative uses of documentary film.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 226 pages
  • 153 x 229 x 17mm | 349g
  • Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 0742535657
  • 9780742535657
  • 1,925,642

Table of contents

Chapter 1 Preface Chapter 2 Prologue: News, Politics, and the Public Interest on September 10, 2001 Chapter 3 1 Frames of Reference in the Era of Casual Spectatorship Chapter 4 2 Forces Shaping the News Business Chapter 5 3 Discovery and Discourse in the New Media Chapter 6 4 The Staging of the Contemporary Presidency Chapter 7 5 Congress and the Courtroom Chapter 8 6 Nationalism, Foreign News, and War Reporting Chapter 9 7 Art, Entertainment, and Politics
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Review quote

The role of ritual, pageantry, and drama in politics predates the media age by centuries. In Center Stage Gary Woodward examines how the staging of modern mediated political events, the professionalization of politics, and a relatively passive citizenry come together to provide an opportunity for us 'to rekindle the nation's impaired capacity for political imagination.' This is a highly readable text that conveys the drama of modern political stagecraft through exquisite narrative while simultaneously supporting arguments and analysis with a wide range of research studies and rhetorical and political theory. -- Diana Bartelli Carlin An impressive analysis of American media and its role in the 'performance' of politics, with topics ranging from war coverage to Congress to films. . . . A worthwhile read for students of media, and all or selected chapters would make good readings in a media and politics course. Recommended. * CHOICE * For two decades, Gary Woodward has been a leading analyst of the dramaturgical dimensions of politics. Center Stage elaborates his vision of the public performance of politics by journalists, politicians, and the arts-and-entertainment community through print, visual, and Web-based media. His conception of both the necessity for and dangers of the staging of American politics is acute, revealing, and forceful in its call for citizen engagement and systemic reform. Ideal for media and politics students, Center Stage is clearly written, with plenty of examples and a good handle on media industries, popular culture, and political processes. Bravo! -- Bruce E. Gronbeck, University of Iowa; author, Communication Criticism
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About Gary C. Woodward

Gary C. Woodward is professor of communication studies at The College of New Jersey.
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