Why Americans Hate the Media and How It Matters

Why Americans Hate the Media and How It Matters

by Jonathan M. Ladd
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0691147868

ISBN-13: 9780691147864

Pub. Date: 12/25/2011

Publisher: Princeton University Press

As recently as the early 1970s, the news media was one of the most respected institutions in the United States. Yet by the 1990s, this trust had all but evaporated. Why has confidence in the press declined so dramatically over the past 40 years? And has this change shaped the public's political behavior? This book examines waning public trust in the institutional

Overview

As recently as the early 1970s, the news media was one of the most respected institutions in the United States. Yet by the 1990s, this trust had all but evaporated. Why has confidence in the press declined so dramatically over the past 40 years? And has this change shaped the public's political behavior? This book examines waning public trust in the institutional news media within the context of the American political system and looks at how this lack of confidence has altered the ways people acquire political information and form electoral preferences.

Jonathan Ladd argues that in the 1950s, '60s, and early '70s, competition in American party politics and the media industry reached historic lows. When competition later intensified in both of these realms, the public's distrust of the institutional media grew, leading the public to resist the mainstream press's information about policy outcomes and turn toward alternative partisan media outlets. As a result, public beliefs and voting behavior are now increasingly shaped by partisan predispositions. Ladd contends that it is not realistic or desirable to suppress party and media competition to the levels of the mid-twentieth century; rather, in the contemporary media environment, new ways to augment the public's knowledgeability and responsiveness must be explored.

Drawing on historical evidence, experiments, and public opinion surveys, this book shows that in a world of endless news sources, citizens' trust in institutional media is more important than ever before.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691147864
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
12/25/2011
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
282
Sales rank:
626,647
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.00(d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations ix
Acknowledgments xiii
Chapter 1: Why Is Everyone Mad at the Mainstream Media? 1
Chapter 2: Political Conflict with the Press in the Pre-Polling
Era 10
Chapter 3: The Emergence of the Institutional News Media in an Era of Decreasing Political Polarization 39
Chapter 4: The Institutional News Media in an Era of Political
Polarization and Media Fragmentation 65
Chapter 5: Sources of Antipathy toward the News Media 108
Chapter 6: News Media Trust and Political Learning 138
Chapter 7: News Media Trust and Voting 176
Chapter 8: The News Media in a Democracy 194
References 221
Index 257

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