The News Shapers
The Sources Who Explain the News
Based on a study examining 3 major networks' evening newscasts during 1987-1988, this book reveals that a small number of white, politically conservative men associated with Washington-based think tanks, former Republican administrations, and private East Coast universities virtually monopolize political discourse in the mass media.
||6 1/8x9 1/4
||Politics, Law, and Government/General
Analysts, political scientists, scholars, and consultants,--The News Shapers describes the elite club of individuals that the media approach for inside information, background, or predictions concerning the outcome of still-unfolding stories. Although they are presented as detached experts, Lawrence C. Soley uncovers their long histories of partisanship as former government officials or politicians, and charges that most of the shapers have no better credentials than the millions of people to whom the news media never turn. Soley's findings, based on a University of Minnesota study which examined three major networks' evening newscasts during 1987-1988, reveal that a small number of white, politically conservative men associated with Washington-based think tanks, former Republican administrations, and private, East Coast universities virtually monopolize political discourse in the mass media.
Dispelling the myth of the media's liberal bias, Soley discusses the shortcomings of both print and broadcast journalism which lead to selection of partisan news analysts, and the effects of their commentaries on foreign and domestic affairs. Special attention is given to Henry Kissinger, Washington Think Tanks, and the media's handling of the conflict with Iraq. The News Shapers identifies the experts, their past political affiliations, and their often thin academic credentials. It is highly recommended for scholars in communications, journalism, and political science, as well as for newspaper readers and television news viewers.
- Table of Contents
Shaping the News
Biased Reporting or Biased Sources?
Objectivity and the Selection of News Sources
The Network Television News Shapers: A Comparison of 1979-1980 with 1987-1988
The Think Tanks
Kissinger and Company
The Conflict with Iraq: A Case Study
Washington Reporters: The Power Elite
Appendix: Method and Sample
. . . Solely provides useful descriptions of some of the nation's major think tanks, their personnel, funding and types of products, as well as interesting commentary on some former government officials.
Soley is right: news organizations' reliance on ``experts'' to explain social processes and political problems has the adverse effect of eroding the need for democratic participation. This result is enough of a reason for journalists and consumers of news alike to take notice of this important book.