New Directions in Media and Politics

Edited by Travis N. Ridout

© 2013 – Routledge

280 pages

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415537339
pub: 2012-12-10
US Dollars$54.95
Hardback: 9780415537322
pub: 2012-12-11
US Dollars$135.00

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About the Book

The field of media and politics is quickly changing as society transforms and new technologies develop continuously. Academic research in the area is rapidly breaking new ground to keep pace with the prolific media developments. This innovative, up-to-date text moves beyond rudimentary concepts and definitions to consider the exciting scholarly research that addresses the monumental recent changes in the media system of the United States and the world. This carefully crafted volume addresses the big questions that academic researchers are asking, exposing students to the rigorous scholarship in the field but making it readily understandable by undergraduate students.

Each chapter starts with a "big question" about the impact of the news media, provides an overview of the more general topic, and then answers that question by appealing to the best, most-up-to-date research in the field. The volume as a whole is held together by an exploration of the rapidly changing media environment and the influence these changes have on individual political behavior and governments as a whole.

New Directions in Media and Politics will make an ideal book for courses as it digs deeper into the questions that standard textbooks only hint at—and presents scholarly evidence to support the arguments made.


"Ridout has assembled a strong cast of scholars whose work addresses the consistently complex and ever-evolving relationships between media and politics. Each chapter is serious yet accessible, and equally fitting for undergraduate and graduate courses. Collectively, they speak to a host of political players and nuanced communication processes, and remind us of the fragility of answers to our questions today. Indeed, there are many new - and unanticipated - directions in media and politics."

—Patricia Moy, University of Washington

"This accessible volume addresses recent changes in the American media system that are reshaping the way citizens and their leaders do democracy together. Its scholarly contributors represent the leading edge of new research on the ways our changing media environment is influencing news exposure, media effects, and strategic communication tactics. Anyone interested in the latest developments on these topics would do well to consult this timely contribution."

—Scott Althaus, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

"New Directions in Media and Politics takes on the new media age, analyzing to what extent the changes could affect long standing theories in political behavior. This book will resonate with how students experience contemporary campaigns in ways previous texts no longer do."

—John Barry Ryan, Florida State University

Table of Contents

1: Introduction; Travis N. Ridout. 2: The American Media System Today: Is the Public Fragmenting?; Natalie Jomini Stroud & Ashley Muddiman. 3: The Era of Media Distrust and Its Consequences for Perceptions of Political Reality; Jonathan M. Ladd. 4: Making the News: Is Local Television News Coverage Really That Bad?; Erika Franklin Fowler. 5: News Media and War: Warmongers or Peacemakers?; Piers Robinson. 6: Campaigns Go Social: Are Facebook, YouTube and Twitter Changing Elections? Stephanie Edgerly, Leticia Bode, Young Mie Kim & Dhavan V. Shah. 7: Negative Campaigns: Are They Good for American Democracy?; Yanna Krupnikov & Beth C. Easter. 8: Targeting Campaign Messages: Good for Campaigns but Bad for America?; Michael M. Franz. 9: Do the Media Give Women Candidates a Fair Shake?; Regina G. Lawrence. 10: Congress and the Media: Who Has the Upper Hand?; Danielle Vinson. 11: To Speak is to Lead? Conditional Modern Presidential Leadership of Public Opinion; Brandon Rottinghaus & Matthew Lang. 12: Political Dynamics of Framing; James N. Druckman, Samara Klar & Joshua Robison. 13: The News Anew? Political Coverage in a Transformed Media Age; Danny Hayes. 14: Politics in the Digital Age: A Scary Prospect; Roderick P. Hart.

About the Editor

Travis N. Ridout is Associate Professor and Thomas S. Foley Distinguished Professor of Government and Public Policy in the School of Politics, Philosophy and Public Affairs at Washington State University. He is co-author of The Persuasive Power of Campaign Advertising (2011) and Campaign Advertising and American Democracy (2007).

About the Series

New Directions in American Politics

The Routledge series New Directions in American Politics is composed of contributed volumes covering key areas of study in the field of American politics and government. Each title provides a state-of-the-art overview of current trends in its respective subfield, with an eye toward cutting edge research accessible to undergraduate students. While the volumes reflect all the main topics of relevant study, rather than cover the dry "nuts and bolts" of the subject they instead engage readers through intriguing puzzles and relevant questions that tie into your syllabus. The most recent scholarship, real-world controversies, and theoretical debates come alive in these volumes, getting students excited about the same issues that animate scholars.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Process / General