By Pippa Norris
Is the method of political communications via the inside track media and by way of events liable for civic malaise? A Virtuous Circle units out to problem the traditional knowledge that it's. in keeping with a comparative exam of the function of the inside track media and events in postindustrial societies, this examine argues that instead of mistakenly "blaming the messenger" we have to comprehend and confront extra deep-rooted flaws within the platforms of consultant democracy.
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Additional info for A Virtuous Circle: Political Communications in Postindustrial Societies (Communication, Society and Politics)
Political campaigns have been transformed by the diversification in the news industry, and also by the widespread adoption of political marketing techniques. Other countries have not simply imported American campaigning practices lock, stock, and barrel. But politicians in many democracies often are paying more attention to formal feedback mechanisms like polls and focus groups, with expanding roles for campaign professionals from marketing and public relations. 56 Even in America, as Chapter 13 demonstrates, traditional forms of grassroots voter contact have been maintained, alongside newer forms of campaign communications.
Blaming the messenger' can prove a deeply conservative strategy, blocking effective institutional reforms, especially in cultures that idealize the independence of the press and its protection from public regulation. This book does not seek to claim that all is for the best in the best of all possible political worlds. Though not 'broken', there are many deeprooted flaws embedded in the core institutions of representative democracy; we are not seeking to present a Panglossian view. But consider just some of the many contemporary challenges to democracy: In Russia, widespread corruption and political instability threaten to undermine fragile electoral gains.
Does the news media system perform according to these expectations? As discussed earlier, media malaise theories blame the news for widespread apathy about public affairs, cynicism about political leaders and institutions, ignorance about the basic facts of politics, and low turnout at the ballot box. 19 Yet, as will be discussed further in Part III, the evidence that exposure to the news media has deleterious effects on political learning, interest, and participation remains a matter of considerable debate.