A Virtuous Circle: Political Communications in by Pippa Norris

By Pippa Norris

Is the method of political communications by means 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 line with a comparative exam of the position of the scoop media and events in postindustrial societies, this learn 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)

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If the disengaged do catch the news, they are likely to pay little attention. And if they do pay attention, they are more likely to mistrust media sources of information. Repeatedly 'tuning out' political messages inoculates against their potential impact. This theory cannot be proved conclusively from the available cross-sectional survey evidence, any more than can theories of media malaise, but it does suggest a plausible and coherent interpretation for the different pieces of the puzzle found in this study.

15 To what extent the news media meet these standards can be tested by examining the amount and direction of news coverage of major controversies on the policy agenda. For example, in the context of the European Union, Chapter 9 analyzes television and newspaper coverage of the debate about the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) and the adoption of the single currency (the euro). If the European news media system worked well as a civic forum for those issues, then we would expect to find extensive political coverage of the EMU debate available in the news, and this coverage would provide a platform balancing different political and cultural viewpoints for and against monetary union.

10 Even if news proves negative or conflictual, therefore, content analysis may provide a misleading picture of how the public respond and construct their understandings from the messages they see. Or the association may prove spurious, as the result of other causal factors: An increase in the incidence of government corruption, for example, might logically produce both more negative media coverage and greater public cynicism about politicians. 11 The increased focus on strategy in American campaign news during the 1970s and 1980s, for example, might plausibly be explained by actual changes in electioneering, such as the rising importance of primaries, the lengthening of the campaign season, the declining salience of many of the hot-button issues of the 1960s and the accompanying generational and cultural conflict, and above all the growth of professional political marketing.

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