Processing Politics: Learning from Television in the Internet Age
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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Puzzles and Problems
How Our Brains Process Complex Information
Questions about Civic Wisdom
4 Freeing Audiovisual Technologies from the Gutenberg Legacy
5 The Battles over Audiovisual Content
6 Making News Selection Framing and Formatting More UserFriendly
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actually advertisers analysis areas attention audience’s audiences audiovisual messages average Americans average citizens Avianca behavior brain broadcast cable television candidates chapter choice civic close-ups coders coding cognitive complex conﬂict content analysis convey coverage crime cues difﬁcult discussed dium election emotional entertainment example fact ﬁgures ﬁnd ﬁndings ﬁrst ﬁve ﬂawed focus group formation framing GenXers Graber human identiﬁed images impact impeachment important individual information-processing interest Internet interpretations interview journalists Latino levels major mass media meanings memory minutes MSNBC networks neurons newscasts Newton Minow ofﬁcial people’s percent Pew Research Center political information political issues political knowledge politicians presented problems processing public’s questions recall reﬂect reported respondents satisﬁed scenes schemas scientists scores signiﬁcant situations social sources speciﬁc stimuli stories Table television programs themes tion Tom Brokaw topics verbal viewers views visual vote voters watching words
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