Common Knowledge : News and the Construction of Political Meaning

Common Knowledge : News and the Construction of Political Meaning


Photo opportunities, ten-second sound bites, talking heads and celebrity anchors: so the world is explained daily to millions of Americans. The result, according to the experts, is an ignorant public, helpless targets of a one-way flow of carefully filtered and orchestrated communication. Common Knowledge shatters this pervasive myth. Reporting on a ground-breaking study, the authors reveal that our shared knowledge and evolving political beliefs are determined largely by how we actively reinterpret the images, fragments, and signals we find in the mass media. For their study, the authors analyzed coverage of 150 television and newspaper stories on five prominent issues--drugs, AIDS, South African apartheid, the Strategic Defense Initiative, and the stock market crash of October 1987. They tested audience responses of more than 1,600 people, and conducted in-depth interviews with a select sample. What emerges is a surprisingly complex picture of people actively and critically interpreting the news, making sense of even the most abstract issues in terms of their own lives, and finding political meaning in a sophisticated interplay of message, medium, and firsthand experience.

At every turn, Common Knowledge refutes conventional wisdom. It shows that television is far more effective at raising the saliency of issues and promoting learning than is generally assumed; it also undermines the assumed causal connection between newspaper reading and higher levels of political knowledge. Finally, this book gives a deeply responsible and thoroughly fascinating account of how the news is conveyed to us, and how we in turn convey it to others, making meaning of at once so much and so little. For anyone who makes the news--or tries to make anything of it--Common Knowledge promises uncommon wisdom.

Similar Books

ISBN 10: 1781259194
ISBN 13: 9781781259191

24 Oct 2018
Robert Greene

ISBN 10: 1784708283
ISBN 13: 9781784708283

05 Sep 2019
Yuval Noah Harari

ISBN 10: 0486272745
ISBN 13: 9780486272740

21 Sep 1992
Niccolo Machiavelli

ISBN 10: 0850364787
ISBN 13: 9780850364781

24 Mar 1998
Karl Marx

ISBN 10: 1861972784
ISBN 13: 9781861972781

20 Nov 2000
Robert Greene

ISBN 10: 0241301114
ISBN 13: 9780241301111

06 Apr 2017
Paulo Freire

ISBN 10: 0486411214
ISBN 13: 9780486411217

18 Apr 2000

ISBN 10: 0241316758
ISBN 13: 9780241316757

13 Apr 2017
Hannah Arendt

ISBN 10: 0141991429
ISBN 13: 9780141991429

24 Feb 2020
Michael Lewis

ISBN 10: 1849353263
ISBN 13: 9781849353267

25 Apr 2019
Adrienne Maree Brown

ISBN 10: 0141397985
ISBN 13: 9780141397986

26 Feb 2015
Friedrich Engels

ISBN 10: 0743456084
ISBN 13: 9780743456081

01 Feb 2005
Bell Hooks