Campaigns in the News: Mass Media and Congressional Elections

Campaigns in the News: Mass Media and Congressional Elections

Campaigns in the News: Mass Media and Congressional Elections

Campaigns in the News: Mass Media and Congressional Elections

Synopsis

"Vermeer's competently edited volume fills a void in the literature by focusing on mass media in congressional elections. . . . The project is well executed. The quality of the articles varies, but overall this edited collection is important because it addresses a topic which has not been covered very well." Choice

Excerpt

This book grew out of a conjunction of research interests I have had for a number of years in media and politics and in congressional elections. Because more scholars have recently been concerned with the impact of the mass media on elections for Congress, the time seemed ripe to bring together a number of essays addressing the topic from various perspectives. The range of issues examined here, from ethics and ideology to newspaper and television exposure to policy information and advertisements, brings to mind as well the topics still to be explored, such as media's role in candidate recruitment and differences in coverage between midterm and presidential election year elections. Many more contributions to our understanding of the relationship of mass media and congressional elections can be expected in the near future.

Although the general focus of attention in this volume is patterns of news coverage of congressional elections, elements that closely relate to that concern are also covered here. Specifically, some space is devoted to the content of campaign materials, such as candidate brochures and television advertising, as well as to what voters can be expected to know about incumbent House members during the campaign. The rationale for including these studies is simply that campaign news coverage reflects what the candidates are doing; the media's choices are in many ways limited by what candidates make available. But the bulk of the work deals directly with news coverage of congressional elections.

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