Spiral of Cynicism

Spiral of Cynicism : The Press and the Public Good

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This is the first study to provide conclusive evidence that the way the American news and broadcast media currently cover political issues and events directly causes increased voter cynicism and non-participation. In a path-breaking study, Jamieson and Cappella examine how the media cover both political campaigns and significant legislation (the passage of health care reform). The focus on the game of politics, rather than its substance, fuels a cycle of cynicism, trapping media, politicians and voters. Giving reason to hope, the authors provide detailed discussion of what the media could do to halt the current cycle of cynicism.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 336 pages
  • 139.7 x 215.9 x 25.4mm | 430.92g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • line figures, tables
  • 0195090640
  • 9780195090642
  • 1,337,379

Back cover copy

The cynic tends to hold that the political system is corrupt; its players are Machiavellian partisans uninterested in the public good, its process driven by a concern with winning, not governing. Because we cannot know what motivates an individual and because any action can be recast to serve some selfish end, the cynic's position is ultimately not contestable. If an inherent conflict exists between the self-interest of a political leader and the public good, then press reports of self-interested political action are not cynical but realistic.show more

About Joseph N. Cappella

Kathleen Hall Jamieson is Dean of the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. She is the author of a number of books, including Packaging the Presidency which won the Winans-Wichelns Book Award, and Eloquence in an Electronic Age which won the Speech Communication Association's Golden Anniversary Book Award, and Dirty Politics. Joseph N. Cappella is Professor in the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania and a fellow of the International Communication Association. He is the author Multivariate Techniques in Human Communication Research and Sequence and Pattern Communication Behaviors.show more

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