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|Title||:||Processing The News: How People Tame The Information Tide|
|Number of Pages||:||300 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Processing The News: How People Tame The Information Tide Reviews
Doris Graber's work on political communication has been a major contribution to political science. In this book, she uses an interview method to get at several key questions, such as: What parts of media information arouses people's attention? What is ignored? How do Americans make decisions using media information?Graber uses an interview technique to ascertain people's use of political information. Groups are defined in terms of (a) level of interest in politics (high, low) and (b) access to media information (easy or not so easy) (a chart on page 12 illustrates). Among subjects considered in the various chapters: information supply; selecting news to process and, perhaps, to store; learning from information; processing information; developing categories.In the end, her results are hopeful. As she puts it (pages 215-216): ". . .the findings presented in this study confirm that average Americans can successfully scrutinize the merits of people and policies from a variety of perspectives. . .Average people know how to accept and reject information, and they are, therefore, not likely to be manipulated into large-scale acceptance of schemas that conflict with the basic tenets of American culture." And the results are hopeful indeed. . .
A fascinating book which details an experiment which took place in 1976. Twenty-one subjects in Evanston, Illinois (north of Chicago) were followed for one year. All of the news that was published in the area was cataloged, as was all the news they consumed. They were regularly interviewed about how they processed it all.Graber found a couple things --We process by filtering. Only 18 percent of news articles were actually read. Our first value judgement about a piece of news was whether or not to consume it. Some people avoided stories because they made them uncomfortable. We can process, therefore, by simple exclusion.We process by "schema." A schema is a "cognitive structure" -- basically, a way of thinking about something, like "All politicians are corrupt" or "The Middle East problem will never be solved." When we intake news, we search our existing schemata (that's the plural of "schema," apparently) for one that matches, and we attempt to fit this new information into it. It is very rare that we change or even adapt new schemata -- we essentially lock ourselves into a way of thinking about something, and try to shoehorn everything we consume into it.A wonderful, ambitious book. Huge implications for journalism and political communication.