From the Affordable Care Act to No Child Left Behind, politicians often face a puzzling problem: although most Americans support the aims and key provisions of these policies, they oppose the bills themselves. How can this be? Why does the American public so often reject policies that seem to offer them exactly what they want? By the time a bill is pushed through Congress or ultimately defeated, we’ve often been exposed to weeks, months—even years—of media coverage that underscores the unpopular process of policymaking, and Mary Layton Atkinson argues that this leads us to reject the bill itself. Contrary to many Americans’ understandings of the policymaking process, the best answer to a complex problem is rarely self-evident, and politicians must weigh many potential options, each with merits and drawbacks. As the public awaits a resolution, the news media tend to focus not on the substance of the debate but on descriptions of partisan combat. This coverage leads the public to believe everyone in Washington has lost sight of the problem altogether and is merely pursuing policies designed for individual political gain. Politicians in turn exacerbate the problem when they focus their objections to proposed policies on the lawmaking process, claiming, for example, that a bill is being pushed through Congress with maneuvers designed to limit minority party input. These negative portrayals become linked in many people’s minds with the policy itself, leading to backlash against bills that may otherwise be seen as widely beneficial. Atkinson argues that journalists and educators can make changes to help inoculate Americans against the idea that debate always signifies dysfunction in the government. Journalists should strive to better connect information about policy provisions to the problems they are designed to ameliorate. Educators should stress that although debate sometimes serves political interests, it also offers citizens a window onto the lawmaking process that can help them evaluate the work their government is doing.
This comprehensive, trusted core text on media's impact on attitudes, behavior, elections, politics, and policymaking is known for its readable introduction to the literature and theory of the field. Mass Media and American Politics, Tenth Edition is thoroughly updated to reflect major structural changes that have shaken the world of political news, including the impact of the changing media landscape. It includes timely examples of the significance of these changes pulled from the 2016 election cycle. Written by Doris A. Graber—a scholar who has played an enormous role in establishing and shaping the field of mass media and American politics—and Johanna Dunaway, this book sets the standard.
Comprised of original research in diverse genres and medias,Women and Media: International Perspectives brings togethereight international scholars to explore key issues of thegender-media relation. Provides important insights into how gender is implicated inmedia industries. Address key issues of the gender-media relation, from ananalysis of news media’s coverage of women politicians, tothe marketing of ‘girl power’, to strategizing forequality in newsrooms. Highlights the theme that media have the potential both toreinforce the status quo in power arrangements in society but alsoto contribute to new, more egalitarian ones. Includes an introduction by the editors that carefully maps thecontours of the international struggle between feminists and themedia, section overviews, bibliographies, key terms, and discussionquestions.
The Congressional Record is the official record of the proceedings and debates of the United States Congress. It is published daily when Congress is in session. The Congressional Record began publication in 1873. Debates for sessions prior to 1873 are recorded in The Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States (1789-1824), the Register of Debates in Congress (1824-1837), and the Congressional Globe (1833-1873)