By Pippa Norris
Is the method of political communications by way of the scoop media and by way of events answerable for civic malaise? A Virtuous Circle units out to problem the normal knowledge that it's. in response to a comparative exam of the position of the scoop media and events in postindustrial societies, this examine argues that instead of mistakenly "blaming the messenger" we have to comprehend and confront extra deep-rooted flaws within the platforms of consultant democracy.
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Extra info for A Virtuous Circle: Political Communications in Postindustrial Societies (Communication, Society and Politics)
9 Traditional meeting places have been altered, but not beyond recognition: Venues such as newspapers ('oped' features, editorial columns, and letter pages), public affairs magazines, and newer outlets (talk-radio programs, CNN's Larry King Live, the BBC2's Newsnight, Meet the Press, and Internet discussion forums) all provide regular opportunities for political debate among a network of politicians, government officials, journalistic commentators, 25 THE NEWS MEDIA AND CIVIC MALAISE advocacy-group spokespersons, think-tank analysts, and academic policy experts, in addition to providing opportunities for public input through phone-in or studio discussions.
10 In this regard, the news media provide an essential linkage connecting horizontally between political actors and vertically between these actors and the electorate. The central priority in this process should be accorded to the parties, which are the core representative institutions that aggregate interests, nominate candidates, and provide collective responsibility for government. Parties attempt to influence newspapers and television headlines, and thereby reach 'downward' towards the electorate, through activities such as news conferences, photo opportunities, and professional political marketing techniques.
One interpretation concerns selection effects. In this explanation, those who are most predisposed to participate politically (for whatever 17 THE NEWS MEDIA AND CIVIC MALAISE reason) could well be more interested in keeping up with current affairs in the news, so the direction of causation could be one-way, from prior attitudes to use of the news media. 57 But if we were to assume a purely one-way selection effect, that would imply that even if one repeatedly turned to the news about public affairs, one would learn nothing whatever from the process, a proposition that seems inherently implausible.
A Virtuous Circle: Political Communications in Postindustrial Societies (Communication, Society and Politics) by Pippa Norris
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