September 05, 2009


I read the EJ Dionne opinion piece in my parents' fishwrap and thought blah blah blah and then forgot about it. 

There is an overwhelming case that the electronic media went out of their way to cover the noise and ignored the calmer (and from television's point of view boring) encounters between elected representatives and their constituents.

But later I remembered it and connected it to a graph I saw at The Corner:

EJ Dionne's core beef is probably the same as mine: that whatever the media reports is whatever becomes important.  Ignore Iraq and Afghanistan altogether and the public quickly forgets it and thinks things are going fine or winding down.  Ramp up talks on health care and that skyrockets.

The number of news stories people read or hear on an issue shapes how important they think it is.  The media has so much power in this realm.  They frame most debates and set the order of importance for national issues.

Oh, but wait, that's not the generic conclusion EJ Dionne came to...

But the only citizens who commanded widespread media coverage last month were the right-wingers. And I bet you thought the media were “liberal.”

Posted by: Sarah at 07:59 AM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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1 Sarah, you might be interested in this piece by Political Philosopher Patrick Deneen at Georgetown University. He talks of the death of the local, full-time, professional journalist and what impact that has. . . . I won't do the article justice in a sentence or two, but it also relevant to your point today that what is focused on in the news, translates as 'important' in the public mind. When there are fewer and fewer actual reporters keeping an eye on things, that gives greater scope for nefarious manipulation. . . .

Posted by: queenie at September 05, 2009 01:14 PM (p4Pp0)

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