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: 0465016669
ISBN 13: 9780465016662

13 Feb 1981
Michael Schudson

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: 0141393068
ISBN 13: 9780141393063

09 Apr 2013
George Orwell

ISBN 10: 0957630883
ISBN 13: 9780957630888

15 Mar 2016
David Icke

ISBN 10: 0486272745
ISBN 13: 9780486272740

21 Sep 1992
Niccolo Machiavelli

ISBN 10: 1861972784
ISBN 13: 9781861972781

20 Nov 2000
Robert Greene

ISBN 10: 0850364787
ISBN 13: 9780850364781

24 Mar 1998
Karl Marx

ISBN 10: 0190699760
ISBN 13: 9780190699765

15 Apr 2020
Jonathan Hopkin

ISBN 10: 0190935960
ISBN 13: 9780190935962

12 Mar 2020
Joseph S. Nye

ISBN 10: 0141987251
ISBN 13: 9780141987255

11 Jul 2019
Paul Collier

ISBN 10: 0141397985
ISBN 13: 9780141397986

26 Feb 2015
Friedrich Engels