Beyond Ideology addresses the predominance of television news. As we saw during the September 11 terrorist attack, the news serves a historic and important role. The nightly evening news broadcasts continue to be critical in the mind of leaders, academics and concerned citizens. This work assesses the fairness of the news coverage, prior to 9/11, over a span of almost two decades related to ten national and international issues. A critical concern: Did the television news broadcasts slant the coverage, or is the charge of bias simply based on partisan accusations? This research attempts to rise above partisanship, that is, go beyond ideology in order to focus on cultural influences, if any, that may exist in the network newsrooms. This cultural bias, if it exists, may have been a pattern prior to, and following, September 11. Specifically, the purpose of this qualitative study is to reinterpret previous research about the ideology of the leading national news media through Aaron Wildavsky's (1987, 1991) cultural theory. In applying Wildavsky's cultural theory, this study will reconceptualize and reinterpret previous media studies to ascertain the specific type of culture the media primarily reflects. Through this analysis, a better understanding of media culture may be developed in order to explain the proper constitutional role of the press. A fundamental goal of this study is not necessarily to expose biases, but, more profoundly, to identify the perspectives or more distinctly, the culture that informs journalists' understanding.
Combining technical detail with advanced philosophical concepts, 'Beyond Ideology' grapples with soul-searchingly difficult issues in the seemingly endless quest to provide the world with accurate interpretation of major events. 'Beyond Ideology' is most especially recommended for students of journalism, political science, and controversial social/cultural issues.
Chapter 1 Preface Chapter 2 Acknowledgements Chapter 3 Introduction: Statement of the Problem; Purpose of the Study; Statement of the Method; Significance of the Study Chapter 4 Literature Review: Aaron Wildavsky; Cultural Theory; Political Culture and the Four Ways; Cultural Competition, Politics and Egalitarianism; Case Studies Supporting Wildavsky's Claim: Newsroom Culture and Egalitarianism; Reviews of Wildavsky's Work Chapter 5 Methodology: Middle-Range Analysis; Meta-Analysis of Cultural Theory; Cultural Theory and the Reason for the Method; Hypothesis: Criteria and Procedure; Coding the Media Studies; Criteria for Choosing Data Sources; Unit of Analysis Chapter 6 Results: Research Question; Findings; Hypothesis Chapter 7 Discussion: Summary of Findings; Reasons for Findings; Limitations; Future Studies; Cultural Theory and Egalitarian Consequences in Theory and Practice; Possible Alternatives and Changes; Conclusion Chapter 8 References Chapter 9 Index