Public Opinion, the Press, and Public Policy

By J. David Kennamer | Go to book overview

1
Public Opinion, the Press, and Public Policy: An Introduction

J. David Kennamer

As the techniques of scientific assessment of public opinion have become better understood and more readily available, the measurement of, discussion about, and interest in public opinion in American life have become incessant. Because public opinion has become a category of news and a focus of journalistic competition, the news-consuming public is constantly informed of everything from its opinions on foreign trade policy to its preference for dogs or cats.

Much of this interest could be described as a sort of collective narcissism, and this may explain at least some of the journalistic interest in public opinion, or at least in the results of polls. But normative democratic theory calls for a much more serious role for public opinion-it is supposed to have something to do with the formation of public policy. Luttbeg ( 1974) notes, "Most persons would only be satisfied with a democracy which at least gave some expression to public wants in the policies enacted" (p. 1). Bernard Cohen ( 1973) has noted that this extraordinarily powerful normative view of the role of public opinion in governance leads to "a mechanical assumption that the public rules or at least participates in policy making, and to a readiness to assert the assumption as unquestioned fact" (p. 20). When one assumes something, one sees no reason to study it, and this of course does not lead to an explication of how such influence works and certainly allows no possibility for the discovery that perhaps it doesn't work. In this

-1-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Public Opinion, the Press, and Public Policy
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 202

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.