Who Deliberates?: Mass Media in Modern Democracy / Edition 1

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Overview

Public deliberation is essential to democracy, but the public can be fooled as well as enlightened. In three case studies of media coverage in the 1990s, Benjamin Page explores the role of the press in structuring political discussion.

Page shows how the New York Times presented a restricted set of opinions on whether to go to war with Iraq, shutting out discussion of compromises favored by many Americans. He then examines the media's negative reaction to the Bush administration's claim that riots in Los Angeles were caused by welfare programs. Finally, he shows how talk shows overcame the elite media's indifference to widespread concern about Zoe Baird's hiring of illegal aliens. Page's provocative conclusion identifies the conditions under which media outlets become political actors and actively shape and limit the ideas and information available to the public.

Arguing persuasively that a diversity of viewpoints is essential to true public deliberation, this book will interest students of American politics, communications, and media studies.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Investigates the role of the media in the formation of public opinion and policy preferences, examining the circumstances under which the public is enlightened and fooled by media-transmitted discussion of political issues. After an outline of theoretical considerations concerning deliberation and democracy, narrative chapters describe specific cases such as "nannygate" and the Los Angeles riots. Includes explanatory notes. For those in political and social sciences, democratic theory, communication, and journalism, as well as students and general readers. Paper edition (unseen), $10.95. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

Table of Contents

Preface
1 Public Deliberation and Democracy 1
2 The New York Times Goes to War with Iraq 17
3 Assigning Blame for the Los Angeles Riots 43
4 Zoe Baird, Nannies, and Talk Radio 77
5 Conclusion: Successes and Failures of Mediated Deliberation 106
References 135
Index 145
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