By Pippa Norris
Is the method of political communications through the inside track media and through events chargeable for civic malaise? A Virtuous Circle units out to problem the traditional knowledge that it truly is. in line with a comparative exam of the position of the scoop media and events in postindustrial societies, this examine argues that instead of mistakenly "blaming the messenger" we have to comprehend and confront extra deep-rooted flaws within the platforms of consultant democracy.
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Additional info for A Virtuous Circle: Political Communications in Postindustrial Societies (Communication, Society and Politics)
Other countries have not simply imported American campaigning practices lock, stock, and barrel. But politicians in many democracies often are paying more attention to formal feedback mechanisms like polls and focus groups, with expanding roles for campaign professionals from marketing and public relations. 56 Even in America, as Chapter 13 demonstrates, traditional forms of grassroots voter contact have been maintained, alongside newer forms of campaign communications. Rather than decrying the 'black arts' of spin-doctors, we can regard the professionalization of political communications as an extension of the democratic process if these techniques bind parties more closely to the concerns of the electorate.
We then develop certain specific indices of 33 THE NEWS MEDIA AND CIVIC MALAISE media performance that we argue flow from these premises. To summarize the argument, in the Schumpeterian tradition we define representative democracy procedurally as a set of institutions that function to allow pluralistic competition for power, public participation through free, fair, and periodic elections, and civil rights and political liberties. If this conception of representative democracy is accepted as a starting point, it is then argued that the following specific indicators can be used to audit the performances of the news media in any political system: In order to facilitate pluralistic competition, we assume that the news media should act as a civic forum for debate.
25 Arguably these are all important standards, but it is difficult to rank these values, when they conflict, in the absence of any broader theoretical principles. 26 Others have attempted to identify common features in the principles embedded in public-policy regulations, or in the values held by different journalistic cultures, but it has proved difficult to find generally agreed standards in such sources. 29 Any attempt to specify certain 'universal' yardsticks to evaluate the functions of the news media therefore runs the risk of ethnocentrism assuming one set of cultural values that may be seen as inappropriate elsewhere.
A Virtuous Circle: Political Communications in Postindustrial Societies (Communication, Society and Politics) by Pippa Norris