news that matters television and american opinion updated edition chicago studies in american politics

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News That Matters

Author : Shanto Iyengar
ISBN : 0226388603
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 33. 74 MB
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Almost twenty-five years ago, Shanto Iyengar and Donald R. Kinder first documented a series of sophisticated and innovative experiments that unobtrusively altered the order and emphasis of news stories in selected television broadcasts. Their resulting book News That Matters, now hailed as a classic by scholars of political science and public opinion alike, is here updated for the twenty-first century, with a new preface and epilogue by the authors. Backed by careful analysis of public opinion surveys, the authors show how, despite changing American politics, those issues that receive extended coverage in the national news become more important to viewers, while those that are ignored lose credibility. Moreover, those issues that are prominent in the news stream continue to loom more heavily as criteria for evaluating the president and for choosing between political candidates. “News That Matters does matter, because it demonstrates conclusively that television newscasts powerfully affect opinion. . . . All that follows, whether it supports, modifies, or challenges their conclusions, will have to begin here.”—The Public Interest

Why Americans Hate The News Media And How It Matters

Author : Jonathan M. Ladd
ISBN : 9780691147864
Genre : History
File Size : 82. 42 MB
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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.

Personality And The Foundations Of Political Behavior

Author : Jeffery J. Mondak
ISBN : 9780521192934
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 20. 59 MB
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The first study in more than 30 years to investigate the broad significance of personality traits for mass political behavior.

Making The News

Author : Amber E. Boydstun
ISBN : 9780226065601
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 54. 94 MB
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Media attention can play a profound role in whether or not officials act on a policy issue, but how policy issues make the news in the first place has remained a puzzle. Why do some issues go viral and then just as quickly fall off the radar? How is it that the media can sustain public interest for months in a complex story like negotiations over Obamacare while ignoring other important issues in favor of stories on “balloon boy?” With Making the News, Amber Boydstun offers an eye-opening look at the explosive patterns of media attention that determine which issues are brought before the public. At the heart of her argument is the observation that the media have two modes: an “alarm mode” for breaking stories and a “patrol mode” for covering them in greater depth. While institutional incentives often initiate alarm mode around a story, they also propel news outlets into the watchdog-like patrol mode around its policy implications until the next big news item breaks. What results from this pattern of fixation followed by rapid change is skewed coverage of policy issues, with a few receiving the majority of media attention while others receive none at all. Boydstun documents this systemic explosiveness and skew through analysis of media coverage across policy issues, including in-depth looks at the waxing and waning of coverage around two issues: capital punishment and the “war on terror.” Making the News shows how the seemingly unpredictable day-to-day decisions of the newsroom produce distinct patterns of operation with implications—good and bad—for national politics.

The Nature And Origins Of Mass Opinion

Author : John Zaller
ISBN : 0521407869
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 76. 81 MB
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In this book John Zaller develops a comprehensive theory to explain how people acquire political information from the mass media and convert it into political preferences. Using numerous specific examples, Zaller applies this theory in order to explain the dynamics of public opinion on a broad range of subjects, including both domestic and foreign policy, trust in government, racial equality, and presidential approval, as well as voting behavior in U.S. House, Senate and Presidential elections. Particularly perplexing characteristics of public opinion are also examined, such as the high degree of random fluctuations in political attitudes observed in opinion surveys and the changes in attitudes due to minor changes in the wording of survey questions.

Obama S Race

Author : Michael Tesler
ISBN : 9780226793832
Genre : History
File Size : 20. 12 MB
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Barack Obama’s presidential victory naturally led people to believe that the United States might finally be moving into a post-racial era. Obama’s Race—and its eye-opening account of the role played by race in the election—paints a dramatically different picture. The authors argue that the 2008 election was more polarized by racial attitudes than any other presidential election on record—and perhaps more significantly, that there were two sides to this racialization: resentful opposition to and racially liberal support for Obama. As Obama’s campaign was given a boost in the primaries from racial liberals that extended well beyond that usually offered to ideologically similar white candidates, Hillary Clinton lost much of her longstanding support and instead became the preferred candidate of Democratic racial conservatives. Time and again, voters’ racial predispositions trumped their ideological preferences as John McCain—seldom described as conservative in matters of race—became the darling of racial conservatives from both parties. Hard-hitting and sure to be controversial, Obama’s Race will be both praised and criticized—but certainly not ignored.

Processing Politics

Author : Doris A. Graber
ISBN : 0226305759
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 69. 96 MB
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How often do we hear that Americans are so ignorant about politics that their civic competence is impaired, and that the media are to blame because they do a dismal job of informing the public? Processing Politics shows that average Americans are far smarter than the critics believe. Integrating a broad range of current research on how people learn (from political science, social psychology, communication, physiology, and artificial intelligence), Doris Graber shows that televised presentations—at their best—actually excel at transmitting information and facilitating learning. She critiques current political offerings in terms of their compatibility with our learning capacities and interests, and she considers the obstacles, both economic and political, that affect the content we receive on the air, on cable, or on the Internet. More and more people rely on information from television and the Internet to make important decisions. Processing Politics offers a sound, well-researched defense of these remarkably versatile media, and challenges us to make them work for us in our democracy.

Legislative Style

Author : William Bernhard
ISBN : 9780226510286
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 78. 79 MB
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Once elected, congresspeople face choices about how to allocate their time and effort. What is the right balance between working in the district and on Capitol Hill? How much legislation should they introduce? On which issues should they focus? What is the optimal amount of time to spend fundraising? To what extent should they toe the party line? William Bernhard and Tracy Sulkin argue that, together, these decisions define a congressperson's "legislative style." They contend that legislators adopt styles that align with their ambitions, experiences, personal inclinations, and their electoral and institutional constraints. In turn, legislative styles shape the nature of representation that constituents receive, the scope and content of the policy legacy that members leave, and the paths their careers take. In this book they develop ways to measure the choices members make and create a typology of "legislative style." The authors start by describing data they collected on sixteen indicators of legislative activity including the proportion of staff allocated to district offices, number of bills introduced, number of speeches given on the floor, total amount of money raised, and percentage of the time the member voted with the party. They then group this data into eight indices, each reflecting a component of legislative style. They rate each congressperson from the 101st to the 110th Congress according to the number of activities in each index and come up with characterizations of their styles. They describe five styles: policy specialists, party soldier, district advocate, party builders, and ambitious entrepreneurs. They argue that members develop fairly consistent styles although they can change over time. They look at the members during each Congress and track their careers to measure change over time. This study enables us to better understand the choices legislators make and the consequences these choices have for them.

Political Tone

Author : Roderick P. Hart
ISBN : 9780226023014
Genre : Language Arts & Disciplines
File Size : 88. 18 MB
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It’s not what you say, but how you say it. Solving problems with words is the essence of politics, and finding the right words for the moment can make or break a politician’s career. Yet very little has been said in political science about the elusive element of tone. In Political Tone, Roderick P. Hart, Jay P. Childers, and Colene J. Lind analyze a range of texts—from speeches and debates to advertising and print and broadcast campaign coverage— using a sophisticated computer program, DICTION, that parses their content for semantic features like realism, commonality, and certainty, as well as references to religion, party, or patriotic terms. Beginning with a look at how societal forces like diversity and modernity manifest themselves as political tones in the contexts of particular leaders and events, the authors proceed to consider how individual leaders have used tone to convey their messages: How did Bill Clinton’s clever dexterity help him recover from the Monica Lewinsky scandal? How did Barack Obama draw on his experience as a talented community activist to overcome his inexperience as a national leader? And how does Sarah Palin’s wandering tone indicate that she trusts her listeners and is open to their ideas? By focusing not on the substance of political arguments but on how they were phrased, Political Tone provides powerful and unexpected insights into American politics.

Projections Of Power

Author : Robert M. Entman
ISBN : 0226210731
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 33. 26 MB
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To succeed in foreign policy, U.S. presidents have to sell their versions or framings of political events to the news media and to the public. But since the end of the Cold War, journalists have increasingly resisted presidential views, even offering their own spin on events. What, then, determines whether the media will accept or reject the White House perspective? And what consequences does this new media environment have for policymaking and public opinion? To answer these questions, Robert M. Entman develops a powerful new model of how media framing works—a model that allows him to explain why the media cheered American victories over small-time dictators in Grenada and Panama but barely noticed the success of far more difficult missions in Haiti and Kosovo. Discussing the practical implications of his model, Entman also suggests ways to more effectively encourage the exchange of ideas between the government and the media and between the media and the public. His book will be an essential guide for political scientists, students of the media, and anyone interested in the increasingly influential role of the media in foreign policy.

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