News: The Politics of Illusion / Edition 8

News: The Politics of Illusion / Edition 8

by W. Lance Bennett

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ISBN-10: 020564984X

ISBN-13: 9780205649846

Pub. Date: 08/08/2008

Publisher: Longman

Part of the “Longman Classics in Political Science” series, this renowned book, known for a lively writing style, provocative point of view, and exceptional scholarship, has been thoroughly revised and updated, including up-to-the-minute case studies and the latest research.

This favorite of both instructors and students is a "behind-the-scenes" tour


Part of the “Longman Classics in Political Science” series, this renowned book, known for a lively writing style, provocative point of view, and exceptional scholarship, has been thoroughly revised and updated, including up-to-the-minute case studies and the latest research.

This favorite of both instructors and students is a "behind-the-scenes" tour of news in American politics. The core question explored in this book is: How well does the news, as the core of the national political information system, serve the needs of democracy? In investigating this question, the book examines how various political actors — from presidents and members of Congress, to interest organizations and citizen-activists — try to get their messages into the news.

Product Details

Publication date:
Longman Classics in Political Science Series
Edition description:
Older Edition
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.80(d)

Table of Contents

Foreword   Doris A. Graber     xi
Preface     xix
The News About Democracy: An Introduction to Governing the American Political System     1
What Happened to Politics?     3
Governing with the News     5
How the News Went to War     6
What About Evidence? An Uncomfortable Truth About Journalism     9
Case Study: The "Truthiness" About News     10
News and Democracy: From the Pony Express to the Web     13
Gatekeeping: Who and What Make the News     15
Politicians, Press, and the People     16
A Definition of News     19
Consumer-Driven Democracy: A New Gatekeeping?     19
Soft News and the Turn Away from Politics     21
The First Amendment: Why Free Speech Does Not Guarantee Good Information     24
What the First Amendment Is Protecting and the FCC Is Licensing     25
What Kind of News Would Better Serve Democracy?     26
The Fragile Link Between News and Democracy     27
Notes     28
News Content: Four Information Biases That Matter     32
Putting Journalistic Bias in Perspective     33
What's Wrong with Press Bias and Political Partisanship?     36
A Different Kindof Bias     37
Four Information Biases That Matter: An Overview     40
Case Study: How George W. Bush Got His Swagger     45
Four Information Biases in the News: An In-Depth Look     48
Bias as Part of the Political Information System     65
News Bias and Discouraged Citizens     65
Reform Anyone?     67
Notes     68
Citizens and the News: Public Opinion and Information Processing     73
News and the Battle for Public Opinion     74
Reaching Publics with News Images     77
Selling the Iraq War     79
News and Public Opinion: The Citizen's Dilemma     81
Case Study: National Attention Deficit Disorder?     84
Processing the News     86
News Frames and Politicial Learning     94
Entertainment and Other Reasons People Follow the News     94
Citizens, Information, and Politics     102
Notes     103
How Politicians Make the News     107
Case Study: How Global Warming Became a Partisan News Story     109
The Politics of Illusion     112
The Sources of Political News     113
News Images as Strategic Political Communication     117
News Bias and Press-Government Relations     118
The Goals of Strategic Political Communication     120
Symbolic Politics and the Techniques of Image Making     124
News Management: The Basics     127
News Management Styles and the Modern Presidency     134
Press Relations: Feeding the Beast     140
Government and the Politics of Newsmaking     144
Notes     146
How Journalists Report the News     151
Work Routines and Professional Norms     154
When Routines Produce High-Quality Reporting     156
Case Study: Top Ten Reasons the Press Took a Pass on the Iraq War     157
How Reporting Practices Contribute to News Bias     162
Reporters and Officials: Cooperation and Control     163
Reporters as Members of News Organizations: Pressures to Standardize     167
Reporters as a Pack: Pressures to Agree     170
The Paradox of Organizational Routines     175
When Journalism Works     177
Democracy With or Without Citizens?     180
Notes     181
Inside the Profession: Objectivity and the Political Authority Bias     184
Journalists and Their Profession     186
The Paradox of Objective Reporting      187
Defining Objectivity: Fairness, Balance, and Truth     187
The Curious Origins of Objective Journalism     189
Professional Journalism in Practice     192
Objectivity Reconsidered     208
Case Study: Why Mainstream Professional Journalism Favors Spin over Truth     209
Notes     213
The Political Economy of News     217
Profits and News Bias     219
The Economic Transformation of the American Media     220
Corporate Profit Logic and News Content     222
The Political Economy of News     226
Economics Versus Democracy: Inside the News Business     227
The Media Monopoly: Arguments For and Against     231
Case Study: Ownership Deregulation and the Citizen's Movement for Social Responsibility in Broadcast Standards     232
Effects of the Media Monopoly: Five Information Trends     235
How Does Corporate Influence Operate?     246
News on the Internet: Perfecting the Commercialization of Information?     247
Commercialized Information and Citizen Confidence     248
Megatrends: Technology, Economics, and Social Change     249
Notes     251
All the News That Fits Democracy: Solutions for Citizens, Politicians, and Journalists      256
The Isolated Citizen     258
The Deliberative Citizen     259
Personalized Information and the Future of Democracy     260
Whither the Public Sphere?     261
The News About Corporate Ownership in the Media System     263
The News About Public Broadcasting     264
The News About Objective Journalism     265
News and Power in America: Ideal Versus Reality     266
Why the Myth of a Free Press Persists     267
Proposals for Citizens, Journalists, and Politicians     270
Case Study: Citizen Input-From Interactive News to Desktop Democracy     282
The Promise and Peril of Virtual Democracy     285
Balancing Democracy and Corporate Social Responsibility: A Place to Start     288
Notes     289
Index     291

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