1st Edition

Congress, the Media, and the Public
Who Reveals What, When, and How?

ISBN 9781612054254
Published August 27, 2015 by Routledge
214 Pages 33 B/W Illustrations

USD $56.95

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Book Description

From the beginning of the Republic, members of Congress have been in the media spotlight. In recent years, the expansion of media venues has provided both challenges and opportunities to Representatives and Senators, the public, and even the media itself. Legacy media such as newspapers and broadcast television each carry with them their own needs and accepted usages affecting the kind and volume of news about Congress delivered to the public. These sources still serve important roles for much of the public and are covered here. This book goes beyond the traditional legacy media to include Congress’ portrayal on live television, in political cartoons, in film, as a part of the emerging “infotainment” venues, and through social media such as web pages, Facebook, and Twitter. We increasingly live in a world where the lines between traditional news and others sources of information have been erased.

This is an exciting, if challenging, time, for Congress, the media, and the public as each attempts to sort out the new media environment and employ it to its advantage. Using a comprehensive analysis of previous research, dozens of interviews, and the inclusion of empirical data, this book assesses the current status of the relationship between Congress and the media and sorts out the temporary changes from those likely to represent future trends. Whether one is associated with Congress, is an interested citizen, or is part of the media industry, understanding the relationships and developments between and among them is key to understanding how the public behaves in relation to Congress, and vice versa.

Table of Contents

CONTENTS: Chapter 1: The Media and Representative Government: The Necessary Evil?  Chapter 2: The Love/Hate Relationship: The Media Approaches Congress  Chapter 3: The Congressional P.R. Machine: Selling a Single Product  Chapter 4 : Catch Me If You Can: News Hooks and Nobodies  Chapter 5: From Props to First Responders: Congress and the State of the Union MessageChapter 6: Mr. Chair and My Loyal Fans: Celebrity Testimony on Capitol Hill  Chapter 7: Bombasters and Buffoons: Making Congress an Easy Target  Chapter 8: Congress, the Houses of Ill Repute: Cartoonists Take on the House and Senate  Chapter 9: Congress and Popular Culture: Dissing Congress on a Grand Scale  Chapter 10: C-SPAN: A Window on Congress  Chapter 11: Congress and the New Media: Challenges and Opportunities  Chapter 12: Congress and the Media: The Continuing Odyssey

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Stephen E. Frantzich is Professor of Political Science at the U.S. Naval Academy, where he was selected as outstanding civilian professor in 1990. He is the author of over two dozen books and has served as a consultant to the U.S. Congress, Dirksen Center, C-SPAN, and a variety of foreign parliaments. He was one of the pioneers in the study of the impact of information technology on American politics. In his spare time, he run Books for International Goodwill (www.big-books.org), which has distributed over 7 million books to underserved populations around the world.


"Frantzich offers the media and students of the US Congress an up-to-date account of the interactions, machinations, and interdependencies between the legislative branch and the Fourth Estate. Frantzich’s book comes at a time when both institutions are challenged by new ways in which the public consumes journalism.  This timely study provides readers with a well-rounded exploration of how Congressional members use the media to advance agendas, promote policies, and increase name recognition, and how news media cover the activities of Congress as well as its individual members. Throughout, Frantzich provides insightful, grounded, empirically supported critiques regarding the role of modern media in a representative democracy...Summing Up: Recommended." - J. C. Davis, University of Arkansas at Monticello, CHOICE Review