Cover image for The press effect : politicians, journalists, and the stories that shape the political world
Title:
The press effect : politicians, journalists, and the stories that shape the political world
Author:
Jamieson, Kathleen Hall.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2003.
Physical Description:
xvii, 220 pages ; 25 cm
Summary:
Was the 2000 presidential campaign merely a contest between Pinocchio and Dumbo? And did Dumbo miraculously turn into Abraham Lincoln after the events of September 11? In fact, Kathleen Hall Jamieson and Paul Waldman argue in The Press Effect, these stereotypes, while containing some elements of the truth, represent the failure of the press and the citizenry to engage the most important part of our political process in a critical fashion. Jamieson and Waldman analyze both press coverage and public opinion, using the Annenberg 2000 survey, which interviewed more than 100,000 people, to examine one of the most interesting periods of modern presidential history, from the summer of 2000 through the beginning of 2002. How does the press fail us during presidential elections? Jamieson and Waldman show that when political campaigns side-step or refuse to engage the facts of the opposing side, the press often fails to step into the void with the information citizens require to make sense of the political give-and-take. They look at the stories through which we understand political events-examining a number of fabrications that deceived the public about consequential governmental activities-and explore the ways in which political leaders and reporters select the language through which we talk and think about politics, and the relationship between the rhetoric of campaigns and the reality of governance. They explore the role of the campaigns and the press in casting the 2000 general election as a contest between Pinocchio and Dumbo, and ask whether in 2000 the press applied the same standards of truth-telling to both Bush and Gore. The unprecedented events of election night and the thirty-six days that followed revealed the role that preconceptions play in press interpretation and the importance of press frames in determining the tone of political coverage as well as the impact of network overconfidence in polls. The Press Effect is, ultimately, a wide-ranging critique of the press's role in mediating between politicians and the citizens they are supposed to serve.
Language:
English
Contents:
Press as storyteller -- Press as amateur psychologist -- Press as soothsayer -- Press as shaper of events -- Press as patriot -- Press as custodian of fact.
Reading Level:
1440 Lexile.
Corporate Subject:
Added Author:
ISBN:
9780195152777

9780195173291
Format :
Book

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Call Number
Material Type
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Status
Central Library PN4888.O25 J36 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
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Summary

Was the 2000 presidential campaign merely a contest between Pinocchio and Dumbo? And did Dumbo miraculously turn into Abraham Lincoln after the events of September 11? In fact, Kathleen Hall Jamieson and Paul Waldman argue in The Press Effect, these stereotypes, while containing some elementsof the truth, represent the failure of the press and the citizenry to engage the most important part of our political process in a critical fashion. Jamieson and Waldman analyze both press coverage and public opinion, using the Annenberg 2000 survey, which interviewed more than 100,000 people, toexamine one of the most interesting periods of modern presidential history, from the summer of 2000 through the aftermath of September 11th. How does the press fail us during presidential elections? Jamieson and Waldman show that when political campaigns side-step or refuse to engage the facts of the opposing side, the press often fails to step into the void with the information citizens require to make sense of the politicalgive-and-take. They look at the stories through which we understand political events--examining a number of fabrications that deceived the public about consequential governmental activities--and explore the ways in which political leaders and reporters select the language through which we talk andthink about politics, and the relationship between the rhetoric of campaigns and the reality of governance. They explore the role of the campaigns and the press in casting the 2000 general election as a contest between Pinocchio and Dumbo, and ask whether in 2000 the press applied the same standardsof truth-telling to both Bush and Gore. The unprecedented events of election night and the thirty-six days that followed revealed the role that preconceptions play in press interpretation and the importance of press frames in determining the tone of political coverage as well as the impact ofnetwork overconfidence in polls. The Press Effect is, ultimately, a wide-ranging critique of the press's role in mediating between politicians and the citizens they are supposed to serve.


Author Notes

Kathleen Hall Jamieson is Professor of Communication and the Walter H. Annenberg Dean of The Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. She is also the Director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center and the author of Packaging the Presidency and Eloquence in anElectronic Age, (both OUP). Paul Waldman is Associate Director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center, where he researches the influence of the media on public opinion.


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Jamieson and Waldman, a journalism professor and a researcher, examine how journalists influence public perceptions of issues and, more important, how journalists are influenced by politicians and policymakers. The authors look at a range of issues and time periods but focus particularly on the 2000 presidential election, the controversial Supreme Court decision on that election, and the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. They show how the early stages of public debate often determine how terms are chosen and issues framed in such a way as to present particular points of view. According to the authors, the press often picks up on these frames and perpetuates them as fact; for example, current coverage of the terrorist attacks is often cloaked in patriotism, which precludes deep analysis of policy decisions. The 2000 election was framed in the stereotypes of a dim-witted Bush and a mendacious Gore. Once the frames are set, and in the absence of competitive pressure, reporters do little to further analyze the issues. A savvy critique. --Vanessa Bush


Publisher's Weekly Review

"The greatest generation was used to storming beachheads. Baby boomers such as myself was used to getting caught in a quagmire of Vietnam where politics made decisions more than the military sometimes." These garbled sentences, from a speech George W. Bush gave a month after September 11, were not dissimilar to those the President had delivered earlier. Yet the U.S. press, which had vigilantly chronicled all of Bush's earlier malapropisms, had decided the president had changed and was now eloquent. This fascinating, well documented and entertaining critique of the national press makes the case that the mainstream media doesn't so much report the news as create it, especially when journalists "transform the raw stuff of experience into presumed fact and arrange facts into coherent stories." University of Pennsylvania communications professor Jamieson and research fellow Waldman focus mainly on how the press reported the 2000 election, the Supreme Court's decision on the Florida vote and its response to national politics after 9/11. In each instance, they uncover and substantiate how the national press shapes the news. During the election, for instance, the press adapted a "frame" for each candidate, presenting Bush as "not too bright" and Gore as "untrustworthy." This "frame" defined most of the coverage, they say. Jamieson and Waldman's analysis is eye opening, and much of it is highly provocative. Intelligent and timely, this is an important addition to the literature on media and current events. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

Amateur psychologist, soothsayer, patriot-these are some of the roles adopted by journalists in covering political news, according to Jamieson and Waldman (Annenberg Public Policy Ctr.). By forcing the news into "frames" that correspond to these roles, reporters determine which elements of a story to play up and which to ignore. To illustrate this disturbing phenomenon, the authors cite numerous recent examples, from media complicity in spreading campaign fabrications to the influence of journalists on the outcome of the 2000 presidential election. The only appropriate role for the news media to adopt, the authors maintain, is that of "custodian of fact." Too often, they argue, reporters simply analyze the strategies used by opposing sides rather than sorting out the facts behind the issues. While acknowledging that the truth can be elusive, the authors cite a few exemplary cases of journalistic integrity and fact finding. This important book, which demonstrates that media distortion is far too complex and insidious to be explained by mere liberal or conservative bias, belongs in all journalism collections.-Susan M. Colowick, North Olympic Lib. Syst., Port Angeles, WA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introductionp. xi
The Press Effectp. 0
Chapter 1 The Press as Storytellerp. 1
Chapter 2 The Press as Amateur Psychologist, Part Ip. 24
Chapter 3 The Press as Amateur Psychologist, Part IIp. 41
Chapter 4 The Press as Soothsayerp. 74
Chapter 5 The Press as Shaper of Eventsp. 95
Chapter 6 The Press as Patriotp. 130
Chapter 7 The Press as Custodian of Factp. 165
Conclusionp. 194
Notesp. 199
Indexp. 209

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