Perspectives on American Political Media

Perspectives on American Political Media

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Perspectives on American Political Media is a comprehensive survey of how political figures and issues are presented to the nation and the world through the filters of television and the mass media. It explores the diverse channels of political influence in American life and how elected officials, lobbyists, and journalists shape events for public consumption.

Students are introduced to the media world in which members of Congress, White House officials, and other government officials must contend. They are shown how these political figures attempt to master this world to achieve their own objectives, while winning over an increasingly suspicious and disenfranchised public. The text also explains how recent changes in the mass media have redistributed power in mega-media corporations, the presidency, and the Congress.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 256 pages
  • 152.1 x 228.9 x 13mm | 363.28g
  • Pearson
  • United States
  • English
  • 0205262503
  • 9780205262502

Table of contents

Each chapter ends with "Summary."


Introduction: Democracy, Media, and Politics.

The Media Mix in American Life.

Television Radio Publishing The Daily Press.

Politics, Information and Entertainment.

The Common Thread of Storytelling An Expanded View of the Political.

Political Information as Mediated Reality.

Democracy and Community in the Media Age.

The Dominance of Spectatorship and Partnership The Apathetic Public.

What Should We Study: Content, Structure, or Process?

Organization of the Book.

1. The Media, Their Owners, Advertisers, and Intercorporate Structure.

Corporate Control: The Pattern Toward Bigger Players.

The Myth of the Media Apart.

Sweetheart Relationships Political and Corporate Coercion Inter-Organizational Alliances.

The Commercial Pressure Points: Audiences, Wall Street and Advertisers.

Satisfying Audiences: The Push for Higher Ratings and Larger Circulation Satisfying the Formula: Determining Commercial Saliency.

2. News in the Television Age: Patterns of Organization and News Selection.

Television as Political Theater.

Television News Gathering at the Local and National Level.

Local Television News Network Television News Recent Upheaval in Network News The Networks in Cyberspace.

News Selection and Classification Theories.

Agenda-Setting "News Priming" as Agenda Setting Gatekeeping Gatekeeping and the Definition of News: Need to Know vs. "Want to Know" News.

Constituents of Gatekeeping for Television.

The Primacy of the Story Format The Search for Expressive Moments Synoptic and Decontextualized Coverage The Primacy of the Narrator A Preference for Stories with Dramatic Pictures A Preference for Actions to See Over Ideas to Discuss Globalism, but From an American Point of View A Preference for Official Voices.

3. The Publicity Functions of Congress.

The Permanent and Changed Congress.

Durable Powers The Old and New Congress Reaching Constituents and Building a Political Base in the New Congress.

Covering Congress: C-SPAN, the Mainstream Media, and the Trade Press.

The "Best Beat in Washington" C-Span: Longform Coverage of Congress The Mainstream Media The Trade Press.

Levels of Coverage.

Publicity and the Coverage of Individual Members Covering the Committees Coverage of the Institution.

4. Winning and Holding the Presidency: A Campaign Perspective.

The Campaign Imperative: Dealing with a Troubled Presidency.

The Concept of the Permanent Campaign: From Episodic to Campaign Politics.

Features of the Campaign-Based Presidency.

Continual Polling by the Parties and Press Dependency on Free Media Thematic Consistency in the 24-hour News Cycle The Shift from Policy to Character Dominance of "Process" Reporting over "Policy" Reporting.

The Presidency and the Press: Two Models.

The News Management Model The Attack Press Model.


5. Foreign News, War, and Diplomacy.

Setting the Stage: Prologue to the Persian Gulf War.

Foreign News: Recurring Patterns in American Life.

The Scope of Foreign Reporting in American Life The Functions of Foreign News Coverage Domestic Versus Foreign Content Variations in Assignments: Newsgathering and News Reporting.

Foreign News: Dateline Washington.

Covering the Golden Triangle The Need to Manage Public Opinion.

War and the Media.

Military News Management: Then and Now Grenada: A Time for Press-Military Negotiation Testing the "Pool" System in the Middle East Military News Management: the Persian Gulf.

6. Witnessing Justice: Press Coverage of the Courts.

The Pervasive Depiction of Crime and Punishment.

Media Attention to Crime and Justice The Reemergence of the "Mega Trial."

The Changing National Persona: Victims in Search of Justice?

Psychic Exhibitionism Litigation as a Panacea.

Making News and Shaping Opinions: Issues of Trial Reporting.

Issues of Privacy Pre-Trial Publicity Confidentiality of Sources Television in the Courtroom.

Civil Law: Litigation as Public Relations.

7. Art, Popular, Entertainment, and Politics.

Art as a Narration and Portraiture.

Methodological Points: The Limits of "Unmasking" Art for Political Meaning.

Political Meaning is Not Communicated Uniformly Art and Entertainment Need to be Assessed for Their Manifest and Latent Content The Stories the Nation Tells Itself Are Sometimes Best Understood for What is Missing Messages Are Sometimes No More Than They Seem.

When is Art Political? Three Levels of Meaning.

Content as Direct Political Advocacy Content as the Reconstruction of the Political Past Content Portraying the Just and Unjust Distribution of Power.

The Potency of Narrative Re-creation: Battles and Cases.

Hollywood in the 30s and 40s The Culture Wars: Current Battles Over the "Politicalization" of the Arts Federal Funding for the Arts and Television Increasing Frustration With Hollywood's Anti-Social Art The Imposition of a Bi-Coastal Liberal Bias Hegemony in Prime Time: Focusing on Personal Remedies to Social Problems.


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