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Changing Media, Changing Politics

  • Samuel L. Popkin (a1)


All the News That's Fit to Sell. By James Hamilton. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2004. 264 pages. $37.95 cloth. $18.95 paper.

Soft News Goes to War: Public Opinion and American Foreign Policy in the New Media Age. By Matthew Baum. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2003. 291 pages. $39.95 cloth. $19.95 paper.

The way we think about news should be changed by two recent books: James Hamilton's All the News That's Fit to Sell: How the Market Transforms Information into News and Matthew Baum's Soft News Goes to War. Both present surprising findings that challenge conventional wisdom. And, read together, they presage a new line of research into how entrepreneurial politicians, all over the world, are changing politics through their responses to changing media.Samuel L Popkin is Professor of Political Science at University of California, San Diego ( This essay was inspired by Elizabeth Eisenstein's pioneering research on the effects of the printing press and Ithiel Pool's analyses of the discrepancies between the expected and actual effect of new communications technologies from the printing press through the digital revolution. It was written during a fellowship at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences. I am indebted to Gerald Gamm, Delynn Kaufman, Gary Jacobson, Arthur Lupia, Samuel Kernell, Michael Schudson and Bob Kaiser for their comments.



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Perspectives on Politics
  • ISSN: 1537-5927
  • EISSN: 1541-0986
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