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Post-Broadcast Democracy
How Media Choice Increases Inequality in Political Involvement and Polarizes Elections

$35.99 (P)

Part of Cambridge Studies in Public Opinion and Political Psychology

  • Author:
  • Date Published: April 2007
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521675338

$35.99 (P)

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About the Authors
  • The media environment is changing. Today in the United States, the average viewer can choose from hundreds of channels, including several twenty-four hour news channels. News is on cell phones, on iPods, and online; it has become a ubiquitous and unavoidable reality in modern society. The purpose of this book is to examine systematically, how these differences in access and form of media affect political behaviour. Using experiments and new survey data, it shows how changes in the media environment reverberate through the political system, affecting news exposure, political learning, turnout, and voting behavior.

    • Suitable for advanced undergraduate students studying political science, communications/journalism and history
    • Provides up-to-date coverage of political polarization, new media, and fragmentation of the news audience
    • Adopts a multi-method approach, including experiments, survey research, and analysis of vote returns
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "[Markus Prior] presents a highly compelling story by building his case carefully and thoroughly using a wide array of data, aggregate and individual, covering many decades and areas ranging from the history of broadcasting to activities of Congressional incumbents...the prose is lucid and easy to follow."
    -Keiko Ono, Millikin University, The Journal of Politics

    “This account of the effects of media environment on politics is important, well argued, and clearly documented. Prior argues that the shift from a low-choice environment of broadcast television dominance to the world of cable and Internet choices has changed the behavior of the electorate. While ‘news junkies’ can consume more news, fans of entertainment turn increasingly to other options…Prior’s analysis of the consequences is both new and noteworthy. He argues that because entertainment fans follow news less frequently now, they will vote less frequently…Prior's ‘inequality by choice’ argument contrasts with the ‘digital divide’ argument based on skills and resources…Those interested in media or broader issues of American political behavior will find much to ponder here. Summing Up: Highly recommended.”
    -J. Heyrman, Berea College, Choice

    2007 Outstanding Academic Title -- Choice Magazine

    "[Prior] presents a highly compelling story by building his case carefully and thoroughly using a wide array of data, aggregate and individual, covering many decades and areas ranging from the history of broadcasting to activities of Congressional incumbents. Despite the complexity of the question asked and multiple methods used, the prose is lucid and easy to follow."
    Journal of Politics, Keiko Ono, Millikin University

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    Product details

    • Date Published: April 2007
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521675338
    • length: 338 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 19 mm
    • weight: 0.5kg
    • contains: 22 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. Conditional political learning
    Part I. The Participatory Effects of Media Choice:
    3. Broadcast television, political knowledge, and turnout
    4. From low choice to high choice: the impact of cable tv and internet on news exposure, political knowledge, and turnout
    5. From low choice to high choice: does greater media choice affect total news consumption and average turnout?
    Part II. The Political Effects of Media Choice:
    6. Broadcast television, partisanship, and the incumbency advantage
    7. Partisan polarization in the high-choice media environment
    8. Divided by choice: audience fragmentation and political inequality in the post-broadcast media environment.

  • Author

    Markus Prior, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University, New Jersey
    Markus Prior is Assistant Professor of Politics and Public Affairs in the Woodrow Wilson School and the Department of Politics at Princeton University. He received his Ph.D. from Stanford's Department of Communication in 2004. He is the author of Post-Broadcast Democracy (Cambridge University Press, 2007), an early version of which won the E. E. Schattschneider Award for the best dissertation in American politics, awarded by the American Political Science Association. The book examines how broadcast television, cable television and the internet have changed politics in the United States over the last half-century. His work has also appeared in the American Political Science Review, the American Journal of Political Science, the Journal of Politics, and Political Communication.

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