Center Stage: Media and the Performance of American Politics / Edition 1

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This up-to-date and lively text focuses on a wide range of issues, such as politics as theater, the economic forces shaping contemporary political media, the rhetoric of the 'War on Terrorism,' and the growth of new media. Separate chapters explore a range of contexts, including the presidency, Congress and the courts, foreign news reporting, and political art. The text concludes with ways to open up additional pathways for imagining our national life, ranging from Internet-supported activism to innovative uses of documentary film. Center Stage: Media and the Performance of American Politics examines political and mediated communication as forms of representational theater. Taking the dramatic orientation to politics seriously, Woodward explores how American civic culture is variously enriched and diminished by the ways practitioners and journalists organize narratives, or stories, about our civic life.

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Editorial Reviews

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.
Diana Bartelli Carlin
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.
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.
Bruce E. Gronbeck
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!
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780742535657
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/28/2006
  • Series: Communication, Media, and Politics Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 226
  • Product dimensions: 6.03 (w) x 9.02 (h) x 0.65 (d)

Meet the Author

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

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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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