Processing Politics: Learning from Television in the Internet Age

Front Cover
University of Chicago Press, 2001 - Political Science - 231 pages
How often do we hear that Americans are so ignorant about politics that their civic competence is impaired, and that the media are to blame because they do a dismal job of informing the public? Processing Politics shows that average Americans are far smarter than the critics believe. Integrating a broad range of current research on how people learn (from political science, social psychology, communication, physiology, and artificial intelligence), Doris Graber shows that televised presentations—at their best—actually excel at transmitting information and facilitating learning. She critiques current political offerings in terms of their compatibility with our learning capacities and interests, and she considers the obstacles, both economic and political, that affect the content we receive on the air, on cable, or on the Internet.

More and more people rely on information from television and the Internet to make important decisions. Processing Politics offers a sound, well-researched defense of these remarkably versatile media, and challenges us to make them work for us in our democracy.
 

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Contents

Puzzles and Problems
1
How Our Brains Process Complex Information
11
Questions about Civic Wisdom
43
4 Freeing Audiovisual Technologies from the Gutenberg Legacy
69
5 The Battles over Audiovisual Content
98
6 Making News Selection Framing and Formatting More UserFriendly
129
What Does the Future Hold?
160
Methods
189
References
209
Index
227
Copyright

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About the author (2001)

Doris A. Graber, professor of political science at the University of Illinois at Chicago, is the recipient of the American Political Science Association Goodnow Distinguished Service Award. She is author or editor of thirteen books, most recently Media Power in Politics and Information Management in the Public Sphere.

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