News The Politics of Illusion

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  • Edition: 9th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2011-02-22
  • Publisher: Pearson

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Updated in a new 9th Edition, News: The Politics of Illusion, by W. Lance Bennett discusses and analyzes the dramatic shifts in news consumption and creation that have both ended and begun new eras of journalism in our time.   How well does the news, as the core of the national political information system, serve the needs of democracy? In exploring this core question, this book examines both how political actors work their messages into the news and how journalists and news organizations report the news.

Table of Contents

Forewordp. vi
Prefacep. xiii
The News About Democracy: Information Crisis in American Politicsp. 1
The Economic Collapse of the News Businessp. 2
Who Needs Journalists with Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter?p. 5
Who Follows the News?p. 7
Scare Them and They May Pay Attention: Communicating with Elusive Audiencesp. 8
Governing with the Newsp. 11
How the News Went to War in Iraqp. 12
What About Evidence? An Uncomfortable Truth About Journalismp. 14
A Definition of Newsp. 19
Gatekeeping: Who and What Make the Newsp. 20
Politicians, Press, and the Peoplep. 22
The First Amendment: Why Free Speech Does Not Guarantee Good Informationp. 26
The Fragile Link Between News and Democracyp. 28
Notesp. 30
News Stories: Four Information Biases That Matterp. 35
Putting Journalistic Bias in Perspectivep. 38
What's Wrong with a Partisan Press?p. 41
A Different Kind of Biasp. 42
Four Information Biases That Matter: An Overviewp. 44
Four Information Biases in the News: An In-Depth Lookp. 48
Bias as Part of the Political Information Systemp. 68
News Bias and Discouraged Citizensp. 69
Reform Anyone?p. 70
Notesp. 71
Citizens and the News: Public Opinion and Information Processingp. 76
News and the Battle for Public Opinionp. 77
Reaching Inattentive Publicsp. 82
Selling the Iraq Warp. 86
News and Public Opinion: The Citizen's Dilemmap. 88
Processing the Newsp. 90
Entertainment and Other Reasons People Follow the Newsp. 98
Citizens, Information, and Politicsp. 106
Notesp. 107
How Politicians Make the Newsp. 111
The Politics of Illusionp. 118
The Sources of Political Newsp. 118
News Images as Strategic Political Communicationp. 122
The Goals of Strategic Political Communicationp. 123
Symbolic Politics and Strategic Communicationp. 127
News Management: The Basicsp. 130
News Management Styles and the Modern Presidencyp. 137
Press Relations: Feeding the Beastp. 144
Government and the Politics of Newsmakingp. 147
Notesp. 148
How Journalists Report the Newsp. 153
How Spin Worksp. 155
Work Routines and Professional Normsp. 158
Explaining Differences in the Quality of Reportingp. 160
How Routine Reporting Practices Contribute to News Biasp. 166
Reporters and Officials: Cooperation and Controlp. 167
Reporters as Members of News Organizations: Pressures to Standardizep. 170
Reporters as a Pack: Pressures to Agreep. 174
The Paradox of Organizational Routinesp. 178
When Journalism Worksp. 179
Democracy With or Without Citizens?p. 182
Notesp. 183
Inside the Profession: Objectivity and the Political Authority Biasp. 187
Journalists and Their Professionp. 190
The Paradox of Objective Reportingp. 194
Defining Objectivity: Fairness, Balance, and Truthp. 195
The Curious Origins of Objective Journalismp. 197
Professional Journalism in Practicep. 200
Objectivity Reconsideredp. 216
Notesp. 218
The Political Economy of News and the End of a Journalism Erap. 223
The News Business in Freefallp. 224
The Loss of News as a Public Goodp. 225
How We Got Here: Profits vs. the Public Interestp. 226
Replacing Quality News with Infotainmentp. 229
The Economic Transformation of the American Mediap. 229
Corporate Profit Logic and News Contentp. 231
The Political Economy of Newsp. 235
Effects of Media Concentration: Why Government Deregulation Was Bad for Public Informationp. 240
News on the Internet: Perfecting the Commercialization of Informationp. 244
Technology, Economics, and Social Changep. 246
Notesp. 247
All the News That Fits Democracy: Solutions for Citizens, Politicians, and Journalistsp. 250
Media Convergence and the Loss of Gatekeepingp. 252
The Isolated Citizenp. 254
The Deliberative Citizenp. 255
Personalized Information and the Future of Democracyp. 256
Whither the Public Sphere?p. 257
Three American Myths About Public Informationp. 258
News and Power in America: Ideal vs. Realityp. 262
Why the Myth of a Free Press Persistsp. 263
Proposals for Citizens, Journalists, and Politiciansp. 266
The Promise and Peril of Virtual Democracyp. 282
Balancing Democracy and Corporate Social Responsibility: A Place to Startp. 284
Notesp. 285
Indexp. 289
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