The author models the discussion of each topic in this text on the social scientific process by asking if theories exists to explain personal observations in politics and the media and if there is evidence to support the theories. End-of-chapter Active Learning exercises provide real-world examples of important concepts and ask students to collect and analyze data from various print and electronic media sources. The text includes an entire chapter on agenda setting—the media's ability to insert issues into public consciousness or increase perceived importance—which illuminates the related concepts of priming and framing.
1. Mass, Media, and Politics in the United States. 2. The Media as a Political Institution 3. What's News? 4. Newsgathering: Business, Profession and Organization 5. Political Institutions and the Mass Media 6. The Media, Political Knowledge, and Political Attitudes 7. Agenda-Setting, Priming, and Framing 8. The Mass Media and Elections 9. Media Models, Linkage Institutions, and Representative Democracy Appendix: Content Analysis Glossary Bibliography