9780231111775

How the News Media Fail American Voters

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780231111775

  • ISBN10:

    0231111770

  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 1999-05-01
  • Publisher: Columbia Univ Pr

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Summary

It is often noted that the public is frustrated with the news media. But what do American voters really think about how the media present political information? While studies have examined how the news shapes opinions as well as what people respond to and remember, this is the first book to provide an in-depth analysis of how voters use and evaluate the news media in political elections and the impact these trends have on their use of the news.Kenneth Dautrich and Thomas H. Hartley performed a four-wave national panel survey of voters during the 1996 presidential campaign. They found that although voters are profoundly dissatisfied with the usefulness of news in helping them make decisions, they are unlikely to stop using the news media or switch media (from network news to public broadcasting, for instance). Thus the media have little incentive to adjust to the needs or wishes of voters.Here is an important contribution to the debate about the responsibilities of the news media raging among pundits and policymakers.

Author Biography

Kenneth Dautrich is director of the Graduate Program in Survey Research at the University of Connecticut, where he is an assistant professor of political science. Thomas H. Hartley is an assistant professor of political science at the University of Connecticut.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii
Campaigns Are Unthinkable, Save in Terms of the News Media
1(18)
Media Use in the 1996 Campaign
19(28)
Explaining Media Use
47(21)
Scratching the Surface: Overall Ratings of Election Coverage
68(23)
Tilting Left: Perceptions of Political Bias in Election Coverage
91(22)
Evaluations of News Content and News Sources
113(21)
The Consequences of Poor Media Performance
134(34)
Conclusion
168(7)
Notes 175(6)
Bibliography 181(12)
Index 193

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