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Schroeder investigates the nuts and bolts of presidential debates as they play out on live television, shedding light on the dramatic aspects that make these political contests "must-see TV."
Second only to the Super Bowl in viewers, presidential debates are must-see TV, yet their conception and execution largely remain a mystery to the public--even to journalists. For this third edition, Schroeder analyzes the 2008 and 2012 presidential debates and the role of social media and contemporary news outlets in shaping their design and reception. New chapters focus on real-time debate responses and the extent to which post-debate news coverage influences voter decision making and candidate behavior.
Newton Minow’s long engagement with the world of television began nearly fifty years ago when President Kennedy appointed him chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. As its head, Minow would famously dub TV a “vast wasteland,” thus inaugurating a career dedicated to reforming television to better serve the public interest. Since then, he has been chairman of PBS and on the board of CBS and elsewhere, but his most lasting contribution remains his leadership on televised presidential debates. He was assistant counsel to Illinois governor Adlai Stevenson when Stevenson first proposed the idea of the debates in 1960; he served as cochair of the presidential debates in 1976 and 1980; and he helped create and is currently vice chairman of the Commission on Presidential Debates, which has organized the debates for the last two decades. Written with longtime collaborator Craig LaMay, this fascinating history offers readers for the first time a genuinely inside look into the origins of the presidential debates and the many battles—both legal and personal—that have determined who has been allowed to debate and under what circumstances. The authors do not dismiss the criticism of the presidential debates in recent years but do come down solidly in favor of them, arguing that they are one of the great accomplishments of modern American electoral politics. As they remind us, the debates were once unique in the democratic world, are now emulated across the globe, and they offer the public the only real chance to see the candidates speak in direct response to one another in a discussion of major social, economic, and foreign policy issues. Looking to the challenges posed by third-party candidates and the emergence of new media such as YouTube, Minow and LaMay ultimately make recommendations for the future, calling for the debates to become less formal, with candidates allowed to question each other and citizens allowed to question candidates directly. They also explore the many ways in which the Internet might serve to broaden the debates’ appeal and informative power. Whether it’s Clinton or Obama vs. McCain, Inside the Presidential Debates will be welcomed in 2008 by anyone interested in where this crucial part of our democracy is headed—and how it got there.
Journalist and Salon writer Rebecca Traister investigates the 2008 presidential election and its impact on American politics, women and cultural feminism. Examining the role of women in the campaign, from Clinton and Palin to Tina Fey and young voters, Traister confronts the tough questions of what it means to be a woman in today’s America. The 2008 campaign for the presidency reopened some of the most fraught American conversations—about gender, race and generational difference, about sexism on the left and feminism on the right—difficult discussions that had been left unfinished but that are crucial to further perfecting our union. Though the election didn’t give us our first woman president or vice president, the exhilarating campaign was nonetheless transformative for American women and for the nation. In Big Girls Don’t Cry, her electrifying, incisive and highly entertaining first book, Traister tells a terrific story and makes sense of a moment in American history that changed the country’s narrative in ways that no one anticipated. Throughout the book, Traister weaves in her own experience as a thirtysomething feminist sorting through all the events and media coverage—vacillating between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama and questioning her own view of feminism, the women’s movement, race and the different generational perspectives of women working toward political parity. Electrifying, incisive and highly entertaining, Big Girls Don’t Cry offers an enduring portrait of dramatic cultural and political shifts brought about by this most historic of American contests.
Writing and Producing Television News: From Newsroom to Air is a step-by-step guide to the nuts and bolts of writing and producing television journalism. Schroeder presents two goals: first, to familiarize students with the basic challenges and skills faced by television news professionals; and second, to put these principles into practice through realistic exercises and assignments that puts students into the role of decision-makers. This comprehensive text employs a running case study throughout the text: Schroeder has created the fictional town of Lakedale, a medium-size news market not unlike the sort of places a young professional might have their first job. Many of the exercises are set there, and the text stresses the many decisions news journalists must make on a daily basis, and stresses problem-solving throughout. Each topic area is complemented by assignments designed to closely approximate the work of professional television journalists. These exercises covera wide spectrum of material, from breaking news to features, and they introduce a range of story formats, from simple anchor readers and voiceovers to such complex structures as sound-bite stories and news packages. The text also draws on the insights and experiences of a select group of dedicated professionals who represent the best of TV news in local stations across the country: reporters, anchors, producers, assignment editors, web journalists, graphic artists, and newsroom executives.
Cheap booze. Flying fleshpots. Lack of sleep. Endless spin. Lying pols. Just a few of the snares lying in wait for the reporters who covered the 1972 presidential election. Traveling with the press pack from the June primaries to the big night in November, Rolling Stone reporter Timothy Crouse hopscotched the country with both the Nixon and McGovern campaigns and witnessed the birth of modern campaign journalism. The Boys on the Bus is the raucous story of how American news got to be what it is today. With its verve, wit, and psychological acumen, it is a classic of American reporting. NOTE: This edition does not include photographs.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER From Face the Nation moderator and Slate columnist John Dickerson come the stories behind the stories of the most memorable moments in American presidential campaign history. The stakes are high. The characters full of striving and ego. Presidential campaigns are a contest for control of power in the most powerful country on earth. The battle of ideas has a clear end, with winners and losers, and along the way there are sharp turning points-primaries, debates, conventions, and scandals that squeeze candidates into emergency action, frantic grasping, and heroic gambles. As Mike Murphy the political strategist put it, "Campaigns are like war without bullets." WHISTLESTOP tells the human story of nervous gambits hatched in first-floor hotel rooms, failures of will before the microphone, and the cross-country crack-ups of long-planned stratagems. At the bar at the end of a campaign day, these are the stories reporters rehash for themselves and embellish for newcomers. In addition to the familiar tales, WHISTLESTOP also remembers the forgotten stories about the bruising and reckless campaigns of the nineteenth century when the combatants believed the consequences included the fate of the republic itself. Some of the most modern-feeling elements of the American presidential campaign were born before the roads were paved and electric lights lit the convention halls-or there were convention halls at all. WHISTLESTOP is a ride through the American campaign history with one of its most enthusiastic conductors guiding you through the landmarks along the way.

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