Spiral of Cynicism: The Press and the Public Good

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9780195090642: Spiral of Cynicism: The Press and the Public Good

Why do some citizens vote while others do not? Why does less than half of the American voting public routinely show up at the polls? Why is it that the vast majority of political issues affecting our day-to-day lives fail to generate either public interest or understanding? These questions have troubled political scientists for decades. Here, Kathleen Hall Jamieson and Joseph N. Cappella provide the first conclusive evidence to date that it is indeed the manner in which the print and broadcast media cover political events and issues that fuels voter non-participation.

This book illustrates precisely how the media's heavy focus on the game of politics, rather than on its substance, starts a "spiral of cynicism" that directly causes an erosion of citizen interest and, ultimately, citizen participation. Having observed voters who watched and read different sets of reports--some saturated in strategy talk, others focused on the real issues--the authors show decisive links between the way in which the media covers campaigns' and voters' levels of cynicism and participation. By closely monitoring media coverage among sample audiences for both the recent mayoral race in Philadelphia and the national health care reform debate, the authors confront issues concerning the effects of issue-based and competitive-based political coverage. Finally, they address the question repeatedly asked by news editors, "Will the public read or watch an alternative media coverage that has more substance?" The answer their findings so clearly reveal is "yes."
Spiral of Cynicism is a pioneering work that will urge the media to take a close look at how it covers political events and issues, as well as its degree of culpability in current voter dissatisfaction, cynicism, and non-participation. For, in these pages, a possible cure to such ills is just what Jamieson and Cappella have to offer. Moreover, their work is likely to redefine the terms of the very debate on how politics should be covered in the future.

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Review:

According to Joseph Capella and Kathleen Jamieson, the political climate in the United States has come to resemble a traveling circus, full of glitter and hype, yet dreadfully short on content or real-life relevance. This perception has led to an unprecedented level of cynicism by the populace and a general mistrust of politicians and their motives. In Spiral of Cynicism: The Press and the Public Good, the authors hold the media accountable for much of the public's apathy because of the manner in which it perpetuates the style over substance approach, emphasizing sound-bites and flash rather than an objective study of the issues. Relying heavily on copious statistics gleaned from three in-depth experiments, the authors use complex charts and graphs to trace the origin and rise of voter cynicism. By comparing citizens' reaction to strategy talk versus balanced coverage of pertinent issues and facts, the authors conclude that the media should look closely at its methods of coverage and take responsibility for contributing to this pervasive negativity.

From the Back Cover:

The cynic tends to hold that the political system is corrupt; its players are Machiavellian partisans uninterested in the public good, its process driven by a concern with winning, not governing. Because we cannot know what motivates an individual and because any action can be recast to serve some selfish end, the cynic's position is ultimately not contestable. If an inherent conflict exists between the self-interest of a political leader and the public good, then press reports of self-interested political action are not cynical but realistic.

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Joseph N. Cappella, Kathleen Hall Jamieson
Editorial: Oxford University Press Inc, United States (1997)
ISBN 10: 0195090640 ISBN 13: 9780195090642
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Descripción Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 1997. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.This is the first study to provide conclusive evidence that the way the American news and broadcast media currently cover political issues and events directly causes increased voter cynicism and non-participation. In a path-breaking study, Jamieson and Cappella examine how the media cover both political campaigns and significant legislation (the passage of health care reform). The focus on the game of politics, rather than its substance, fuels a cycle of cynicism, trapping media, politicians and voters. Giving reason to hope, the authors provide detailed discussion of what the media could do to halt the current cycle of cynicism. Nº de ref. de la librería AAV9780195090642

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Descripción Oxford University Press 1997-05, 1997. Estado de conservación: New. This item is printed on demand. Brand new book, sourced directly from publisher. Dispatch time is 24-48 hours from our warehouse. Book will be sent in robust, secure packaging to ensure it reaches you securely. Nº de ref. de la librería NU-LSI-06870960

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Joseph N. Cappella, Kathleen Hall Jamieson
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ISBN 10: 0195090640 ISBN 13: 9780195090642
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Descripción Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 1997. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. This is the first study to provide conclusive evidence that the way the American news and broadcast media currently cover political issues and events directly causes increased voter cynicism and non-participation. In a path-breaking study, Jamieson and Cappella examine how the media cover both political campaigns and significant legislation (the passage of health care reform). The focus on the game of politics, rather than its substance, fuels a cycle of cynicism, trapping media, politicians and voters. Giving reason to hope, the authors provide detailed discussion of what the media could do to halt the current cycle of cynicism. Nº de ref. de la librería AAV9780195090642

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Cappella, Joseph N.
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Descripción OUP USA, 1997. PAP. Estado de conservación: New. New Book. Delivered from our UK warehouse in 3 to 5 business days. THIS BOOK IS PRINTED ON DEMAND. Established seller since 2000. Nº de ref. de la librería LQ-9780195090642

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Joseph N. Cappella; Kathleen Hall Jamieson
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