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Good Intentions Make Bad News: Why Americans Hate Campaign Jouralism

ISBN-13: 978-0847680962
ISBN-10: 0847680967
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Nothing in American politics attracts more commentary than the news coverage of presidential elections. Bob Lichter's devotion to the collection of hard data through content analysis of the performance of the news media distinguishes his commentary from most of the pack, and gives this book special value. (Nelson W. Polsby, professor of political science, University of California, Berkeley; author of How Congress Evolves)

This book is must reading for every newsperson who wants to improve journalism, every politician who needs to understand the press's obstacle course, and every citizen who is concerned about the news media. This accessible and smoothly written volume is perfectly suited for a wide variety of classroom uses. (Larry J. Sabato, director, University of Virginia Center for Politics)

This book is a must for scholars interested in campaign journalism and would be appropriate fare for upper-division or graduate students in journalism, political science or public affairs. (Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly)

A stunning analysis that confirms Lippman's proposition that news and truth seldom coincide. (Thomas E. Patterson, Harvard University)

A clear strength of the text is extensive use of actual coverage from network reports . . . This book is a must for scholars interested in campaign journalism and would be appropriate fare for upper-division or graduate students in journalism, political science, or public affairs. (Dwight DeWerth-Pallmeyer, Utica College of Syracuse University)

The authors rightly suggest that it's time for journalists to 'narrate' the presidential campaign instead of trying to 'arbitrate' it―that is, drop editorializing and get back to reporting. . . . Perhaps the most extensive review ever of newspaper stories, TV clips, and candidates' speeches. (Morton Kondracke Roll Call)

. . . splendid book.

"An impressive piece of media criticism...definitive proof that the press can't cover scientific and medical issues without going off the deep end." (Fred Barnes The Weekly Standard) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From the Back Cover

This book brings together the key findings from a large body of data on national political news that the authors accumulated from 1987 through 1995. It draws on this accumulated data from both campaigns, as well as personal interviews with journalists who covered them, to trace a shift in the national media's approach to election news. It argues that journalists' efforts to intervene more actively in the campaign process, which were intended to improve the quality of information available to voters, instead produced unintended consequences that proved detrimental to both journalism and the electoral system. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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