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By Pippa Norris

Is the method of political communications through the inside track media and by means of events chargeable for civic malaise? A Virtuous Circle units out to problem the traditional knowledge that it really is. according to a comparative exam of the function of the scoop media and events in postindustrial societies, this learn 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)

Sample text

Second, in seeking practical knowledge, we further assume that the type of information most useful for citizens is contextual to the electoral decisions they face. The reason is that the information most relevant for voting choices will depend on the kinds of electoral and party systems. There is no single 'gold' standard. In parliamentary general elections contested by programmatic parties, for example, voters need information about political issues, party platforms, and the government's record, which may well prove useful in predicting the consequences of casting a ballot.

55 Rather than showing the emergence of a single prevalent model of journalism, based on American norms, this suggests considerable diversity worldwide. 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.

9 Traditional meeting places have been altered, but not beyond recognition: Venues such as newspapers ('oped' features, editorial columns, and letter pages), public affairs magazines, and newer outlets (talk-radio programs, CNN's Larry King Live, the BBC2's Newsnight, Meet the Press, and Internet discussion forums) all provide regular opportunities for political debate among a network of politicians, government officials, journalistic commentators, 25 THE NEWS MEDIA AND CIVIC MALAISE advocacy-group spokespersons, think-tank analysts, and academic policy experts, in addition to providing opportunities for public input through phone-in or studio discussions.

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