Public Policy and the Mass Media: The Interplay of Mass Communication and Political Decision Making

Overview

The mass media are playing an increasingly central role in modern political life that expands beyond their traditional function as mediators between the world of politics and the citizens.

This volume explores the extent and circumstances under which the media affects public policy; whether the political impact of the media is confined to the public representation of politics or whether their influence goes further to also affect the substance of political decisions. It provides...

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Overview

The mass media are playing an increasingly central role in modern political life that expands beyond their traditional function as mediators between the world of politics and the citizens.

This volume explores the extent and circumstances under which the media affects public policy; whether the political impact of the media is confined to the public representation of politics or whether their influence goes further to also affect the substance of political decisions. It provides an in-depth understanding of the conditions under which the media might, or might not, play a role in the policy process and what the nature of their influence is.

Bringing together conceptual and methodological approaches from both political science and communications studies, this book presents an interdisciplinary perspective. It presents empirical evidence of the processes involved in the interaction between mass communication and policy and features case studies from Western Europe and the US and across different policy fields.

The book will be of interest to students of public policy, political communication and comparative politics.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'The book raises important questions for future research agenda and contributes with perspectives for empirical research. It is also an interesting initital literature on current issues and debates in the realm of political communication.' - Enikö Soujon and Bianca Vaz Mondo, Policy Advice and Political Consulting, Vol. 4, 2011
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Sigrid Koch-Baumgarten is Professor of Political Science at the Department of Political Science, Philipps University Marburg, Germany. Her research focuses on German and international industrial relations and its actors; new forms of governance in the national and international arena; and the role of the media in ‘media democracy’. Katrin Voltmer is Senior Lecturer of Political Communication at the Institute of Communications Studies, University of Leeds, UK. Her research interests include media influences on public opinion and the policy process, the relationship between journalists and their news sources, and the role of the media in democratic transitions. She is the editor of The Mass Media and Political Communication in New Democracies (also published by Routledge).

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Table of Contents

List of illustrations xi

Notes on contributors xiii

Series editor's preface xvi

Preface xviii

1 Introduction: mass media and public policy - is there a link? Katrin Voltmer Sigrid Koch-Baumgarten 1

Part I Policy issues, agendas and the media 15

2 Public policy and the mass media: an information processing approach Bryan D. Jones Michelle Wolfe 17

3 Do the media shape parties' agenda preferences? An empirical study of party manifestos in Belgium (1987-2003) Stefaan Walgrave Jonas Lefevere 44

4 Closing the circle: a case study in the role of spin in the policy cycle Neil T. Gavin 65

5 Knowledge culture and power: biotechnology and the popular press Pieter Maeseele Dimitri Schuurman 86

6 Aid organizations, governments and the media: the critical role of journalists in signaling authority recognition Matthias Ecker-Ehrhardt 106

Part II Policy institutions, constellations of actors and the media 125

7 The media and the policy process: a policy centric approach Robin Brown 127

8 Contested processes, contested influence: a case study of genetically modified food in Britain Anita Howarth 143

9 Going public? (Re)presentation of women's policy in the media Birgit Sauer 162

10 Public pushing for pension reform? The short-term impact of media coverage on long-term policy making in Germany, Britain and the United States Christoph Strünck 179

11 Condemned to repeat: the media and the accountability gap in Iraq war policy Robert M. Entman Steven Livingston Sean Aday Jennie Kim 194

12 Conclusion: the interplay of mass communication and political decision making - policy matters! Sigrid Koch-Baumgarten Katrin Voltmer 215

Index 228

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