Chapter

A History of Opinion in the U.S. Media

Ronald N. Jacobs

in The Space of Opinion

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780199797929
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199944170 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199797929.003.0002
A History of Opinion in the U.S. Media

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Chapter 2 traces the history of the space of opinion and analyzes the rise of the special class of media pundits who dominate it. It chronicles the rise to influence of the newspaper columnist in the early 20th century, focusing on the career of Walter Lippmann. With the development of television in the 1950s and the subsequent rise of talk formats, televised political talk increasingly came to dominate public political discussions. In both print and television, different formats provided distinct strategies for dealing with two challenges: (1) the tensions between autonomy and influence, and (2) the need to present complex issues to mass publics. These different strategies have clear implications for how we think about media, opinion formation, and processes of democratic deliberation.

Keywords: McClures; The New Republic; The Atlantic; New York Times; USA Today; The NewsHour; Crossfire; Face the Nation; Hannity & Colmes; Walter Lippman

Chapter.  19194 words. 

Subjects: Sociology

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