New Media and American Politics

New Media and American Politics

New Media and American Politics

New Media and American Politics

Synopsis

New Media and American Politics is the first examination of the effect on modern politics of the new media, which include talk radio, tabloid journalism, television talk shows, entertainment media, and computer networks. Davis and Owen discuss the new media's cultural environment, audience, and content, and evaluate its impact on everything from elections to policy making to the old media itself.

Excerpt

Mass communication in the United States is in a state of flux. "New media," such as talk radio, television news magazines, electronic town meetings, tabloids, mtv, and the Internet, convey political information to the public in ways that depart, sometimes radically, with convention. While no consensus has been reached about the wide ranging implications of the new media's political presence, it is fair to say that the new media have substantially altered the way that American journalists operate, politics is conducted, and the public relates to media, politicians, institutions, and political processes.

Debate over the new media's role, significance, and implications for democratic governance has been sparked in academic and journalistic circles. Some argue that new media have the potential to be a positive force in society. New media are the people's media, and as such, they can generate interest in politics among apathetic citizens, facilitate public discourse, and occasionally even stimulate political participation. They also act as a check on the mainstream press, which an increasing number of ordinary people perceive to be an elite domain too closely aligned with politicians and government to play a legitimate watchdog role.

Yet, the new media's political role, indeed their very existence, is determined overwhelmingly by economic market forces to an extent . . .

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