By Pippa Norris
Is the method of political communications through the inside track media and through events chargeable for civic malaise? A Virtuous Circle units out to problem the normal knowledge that it really is. in line with a comparative exam of the position of the scoop media and events in postindustrial societies, this research 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)
3 As encapsulated by Austin Ranney: 'It is hard not to put two facts side by side: one is the fact that the age of television began in the 1950s and reached its presen dominance by the mid-1960s; the other is the fact that the rise in public cynicism has been continuous through the same period. . These two facts do not prove that television portrayal of politics explains all the decline in confidence, but it is not unreasonable . . 6 For evidence, that study examined the evaluative tone of coverage of American presidential elections in Time and Newsweek since the 1960s, and it found increasing negativity in election news: The proportion of 'bad news' in news magazines accounted for about one-quarter of campaign coverage in 1960.
It has become easier to bump into the news, almost accidentally, than ever before, and this entire process has broadened the background of the news audience. Second, rather than seeing an inexorable downward erosion in the standards of serious journalism, which has been termed the 'tabloidization' of news, or the growth of 'infotainment', it seems more accurate to understand trends during the 1980s and 1990s as representing a diversification of the marketplace in terms of levels, formats, and topics.
THE NEWS MEDIA AS A MOBILIZING AGENT We now come to the issue at the heart of this book, which is concerned above all with unraveling the impact of political communications on public engagement. The roles of the news media as civic forum and as watchdog essentially ensure the appropriate conditions for maintaining political competition at the elite level. As defined earlier, public participation through free, fair, and periodic elections is the third Schumpeterian precondition for representative democracy.