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The space of opinion : media intellectuals and the public sphere / Ronald N. Jacobs, Eleanor Townsley.

By: Jacobs, Ronald N.
Contributor(s): Townsley, Eleanor R, 1967-.
Material type: TextTextPublisher: New York : Oxford University Press, USA, c2011Description: viii, 295 p. : ill. ; 25 cm.ISBN: 9780199797929 (hardback : acid-free paper); 0199797927 (hardback : acid-free paper); 9780199797936 (paperback : acid-free paper); 0199797935 (paperback : acid-free paper).Subject(s): Mass media -- United States -- History -- 21st century | Journalists -- United States -- Attitudes -- History -- 21st century | Public opinion -- United States -- History -- 21st century | United States -- Politics and government -- 21st centuryDDC classification: 070.4/42097309051 LOC classification: P92.U5 | J33 2011
Contents:
1. Media commentary and the space of opinion -- 2. A history of opinion in the U.S. media -- 3. Media and opinion formation: toward a new theory of deliberative politics -- 4. Who speaks in the space of opinion? -- 5. Formats and norms in the U.S. space of opinion -- 6. Rhetorics in the space of contemporary U.S. opinion -- 7. The Enron scandal -- 8. The war on terror -- 9. The future of opinion.
Summary: "While the newspaper op-ed page, the Sunday morning political talk shows on television, and the evening cable-news television lineup have an obvious and growing influence in American politics and political communication, social scientists and media scholars tend to be broadly critical of the rise of organized punditry during the 20th century without ever providing a close empirical analysis. What is the nature of the contemporary space of opinion? How has it developed historically? What kinds of people speak in this space? What styles of writing and speech do they use? What types of authority and expertise do they draw on? And what impact do their commentaries have on public debate? To describe and analyze this complex space of news media, Ronald Jacobs and Eleanor Townsley rely on enormous samples of opinion collected from newspapers and television shows during the first years of the last two Presidential administrations. They also employ biographical data on authors of opinion to connect specific argument styles to specific types of authors, and examine the distribution of authors and argument types across different formats. The result is a close mapping that reveals a massive expansion and differentiation of the opinion space. It tells a complex story of shifting intersections between journalism, politics, the academy, and the new sector of think tanks. It also reveals a proliferation of genres and forms of opinion; not only have the people who speak within the space of opinion become more diverse over time, but the formats of opinion-claims to authority, styles of speech, and modes of addressing publics-have also become more varied. Though Jacobs and Townsley find many changes, they also find continuities. Despite public anxieties, the project of objective journalism is alive and well, thriving in the older, more traditional formats, and if anything, the proliferation of newer formats has resulted in an intensified commitment (by some) to core journalistic values as clear points of difference that offer competing logics of distinction and professional justification. But the current moment does represent a real challenge as more and different shows compete to narrate politics in the most compelling, authoritative, and influential manner. By providing the first systematic study of media opinion and news commentary, The Space of Opinion will fill an important gap on research about media, politics, and the civil society and will attract readers in a number of disciplines, including sociology, communication, media studies, and political science"-- Provided by publisher.
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Item type Current location Call number Status Date due Barcode
Book University of Texas At Tyler
Stacks - 3rd Floor
P92.U5 J33 2011 (Browse shelf) Available 0000002140754
Browsing University of Texas At Tyler Shelves , Shelving location: Stacks - 3rd Floor Close shelf browser
P92.U5 F44 1989 Media hoaxes / P92.U5 G6 The communications revolution : P92.U5 I46 1985 Impact of mass media : P92.U5 J33 2011 The space of opinion : P92.U5 M3 Mass media issues : P92.U5 M47 1988 Trend watching : P92.U5 T4 1976 The media in America /

"While the newspaper op-ed page, the Sunday morning political talk shows on television, and the evening cable-news television lineup have an obvious and growing influence in American politics and political communication, social scientists and media scholars tend to be broadly critical of the rise of organized punditry during the 20th century without ever providing a close empirical analysis. What is the nature of the contemporary space of opinion? How has it developed historically? What kinds of people speak in this space? What styles of writing and speech do they use? What types of authority and expertise do they draw on? And what impact do their commentaries have on public debate? To describe and analyze this complex space of news media, Ronald Jacobs and Eleanor Townsley rely on enormous samples of opinion collected from newspapers and television shows during the first years of the last two Presidential administrations. They also employ biographical data on authors of opinion to connect specific argument styles to specific types of authors, and examine the distribution of authors and argument types across different formats. The result is a close mapping that reveals a massive expansion and differentiation of the opinion space. It tells a complex story of shifting intersections between journalism, politics, the academy, and the new sector of think tanks. It also reveals a proliferation of genres and forms of opinion; not only have the people who speak within the space of opinion become more diverse over time, but the formats of opinion-claims to authority, styles of speech, and modes of addressing publics-have also become more varied. Though Jacobs and Townsley find many changes, they also find continuities. Despite public anxieties, the project of objective journalism is alive and well, thriving in the older, more traditional formats, and if anything, the proliferation of newer formats has resulted in an intensified commitment (by some) to core journalistic values as clear points of difference that offer competing logics of distinction and professional justification. But the current moment does represent a real challenge as more and different shows compete to narrate politics in the most compelling, authoritative, and influential manner. By providing the first systematic study of media opinion and news commentary, The Space of Opinion will fill an important gap on research about media, politics, and the civil society and will attract readers in a number of disciplines, including sociology, communication, media studies, and political science"-- Provided by publisher.

Includes bibliographical references (p. [277]-287) and index.

1. Media commentary and the space of opinion -- 2. A history of opinion in the U.S. media -- 3. Media and opinion formation: toward a new theory of deliberative politics -- 4. Who speaks in the space of opinion? -- 5. Formats and norms in the U.S. space of opinion -- 6. Rhetorics in the space of contemporary U.S. opinion -- 7. The Enron scandal -- 8. The war on terror -- 9. The future of opinion.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

CHOICE Review

Sociologists Jacobs (Univ. of Albany, SUNY) and Townsley (Mount Holyoke College) explore the evolution of the US media as it pertains to providing information, shaping opinion, and framing debates. They also question the whole notion of media objectivity, the role of the media in making an informed citizenry, and whether the media helps establish a population capable of engaging rational thought and the democratic process. Analyzing data collected from mainstream media programs dedicated to providing a stage for punditry, the authors offer thorough theoretical discussions related to media studies, sociology, communication, and the like, revealing a complex network of media intellectual outlets, each with its own format and formula for presenting news and opinion. The book also discusses the impact of these media intellectuals on the policy process itself, as politicians and other policy makers are influenced by, as well as influence, the content of these shows. The authors extensively examine historical antecedents to contemporary outlets, delving into major historical figures in the journalism profession in the US. Jacobs and Townsley provide an important anatomic overview of the inner workings of the various media systems, offering a general framework for examining changes that will undoubtedly continue in the future. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above. G. C. David Bentley University

Author notes provided by Syndetics

Ronald N. Jacobs is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University at Albany, State University of New York and author of Race, Media, and the Crisis of Civil Society: From Watts to Rodney King.Eleanor Townsley is Professor of Sociology and Gender Studies at Mount Holyoke College and co-author of Making Capitalism Without Capitalists: The New Ruling Elites in Eastern Europe.

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