News is seen by some parties as being simply a form of information, mirroring the world, whereas others believe it is a form of propaganda, promoting a partisan view. Michael Schudson believes that news is really both and neither; it is a form of culture, complete with its own literary and social conventions and powerful in ways more subtle and complex than may be expected. This text examines the news media's emergence as a central institution of modern American society, a key repository of common knowledge and cultural authority. It looks at the way news has evolved in concert with American democracy and industry, subject to the social forces that shape the culture at large, and explores the origins of contemporary journalistic practices, including the interview, the summary lead, the preoccupation with the presidency, and the ironic and detached stance of the reporter toward the political world. It also rejects certain misconceptions, such as the ideas that the press brought about the Spanish-American War and that television decided the Kennedy-Nixon debates.
Through this analysis, Schudson shows how the news, by making knowledge public, actually changes the character of knowledge and allows people to act on that knowledge in new and significant ways.
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(229mm x 152mm x 20mm)
Harvard University Press
Publisher: Harvard University Press
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Author Biography - Michael Schudson
Michael Schudson is Professor of Communication and Sociology at the University of California, San Diego. He is the author of several books, including Advertising: The Uneasy Persuasion and Watergate in American Memory.