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Examines the ways in which public opinion affects public policy via the news media. Draws together theory and original research concerning the role of the press in shaping public policy.
Victorian Britain had two players of colossal influence on the world stage: Lord Palmerston - the dominant figure in foreign affairs in the mid-nineteenth century - and The Times - the first global newspaper, read avidly by statesmen around the world. Palmerston was also one of the first real media-manipulating politicians of the modern age, forging close links with a number of publications to create the so-called "Palmerston press." His relationship with The Times, however, was turbulent and became a prolonged and bitter rivalry. For The Times, Palmerston was no more than "a flippant dandy;" to Palmerston, The Times was a treacherous "liar." In this book, Laurence Fenton explores the highly-charged rivalry between these two titans of the mid-Victorian era, revealing the personal and political differences at the heart of an antagonism that stretched over the course of three decades.
Is polling a process that brings "science" into the study of society? Or are polls crude instruments that tell us little about the way people actually think? The role of public opinion polls in government and mass media has gained increasing importance with each new election or poll taken. Here Lewis presents a new look at an old tradition, the first study of opinion polls using an interdisciplinary approach combining cultural studies, sociology, political science, and mass communication. Rather than dismissing polls, he considers them to be a significant form of representation in contemporary culture; he explores how the media report on polls and, in turn, how publicized results influence the way people respond to polls. Lewis argues that the media tend to exclude the more progressive side of popular opinion from public debate. While the media's influence is limited, it works strategically to maintain the power of pro-corporate political elites.
Public Opinion and the Communication of Consent offers an unprecedented range of scholarly perspectives on the relationship between public opinion and communication. With contributions written from social-scientific, historical, critical and cultural traditions, the book illuminates the importance and richness of treating "public opinion" as a multifaceted concept.Written by leading thinkers in the field, some of the work's chapters offer state-of-the-art reviews of research findings, while others are scholarly treatises on some aspect of communication, public opinion, and society. Topics covered include: The nature and institutions of public opinion; the influence of media on public opinion; social and psychological contexts of public opinion; the role public opinion assessment plays in a democratic society.
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Analyzes the communication processes in direct democratic campaigns and their effect on the opinion formation of the voters. Based on a detailed analysis of the politicians' strategies, media coverage and the opinion formation of the public in three campaigns, this book argues that the campaigns are more enlightening than manipulating.
This book examines the internal controversies of the Roosevelt administration in connection with Spain during World War II, the role of the President in these controversies, and the foundations of the policy that was followed from the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War until the launching of Operation Torch in 1942.

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