• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

KEY FEATURES: Coverage of the media’s effects on the 2016 election encourages students to discuss the election while taking into account the broader theoretical concerns about changing news consumption habits and declining political trust. The chapter on partisan news helps students understand the impact of politically polarized news audiences. The chapter on fake news offers students current examples of the political impact of this phenomenon. Examples of the ways in which Americans increasingly have become news grazers show students how growing media choice has transformed how we gather news and is resulting in an increasingly distracted news audience. Discussions about the development of commentary news show how producers have combined drama, opinion, immediacy, and entertainment with straight news content - allowing students to see the impact that this form of news has on the public’s trust in Congress and the media.

The News Grazer
Chapter 2 The news grazer

A gag gift called “the covert clicker” is a concealed, miniremote control that fixes onto the frequency of any television or media device. As the advertisement reads, the prankster waits until the victims are settling down to watch the Super Bowl or their favorite program only to maniacally switch the channel with their concealed remote control. Shocked by the interruption, the victims spring into an immediate panic. I do not recommend this annoying trick unless you enjoy causing distress to your family and friends. Still, the “covert clicker” does underscore an important, emerging cultural condition of our relationships with information technology. When individuals are denied control over media technologies, frustration ensues.

This frustration is elevated by media consumers’ ...

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