by Timothy E. Cook
University of Chicago Press, 1998
Cloth: 978-0-226-11499-6 | Paper: 978-0-226-11500-9
Library of Congress Classification PN4738.C66 1998
Dewey Decimal Classification 070.449320973

The ideal of a neutral, objective press has proven in recent years to be just that—an ideal. But while everyone talks about the political biases and influences of the news, no one has figured out whether and how the news media exert power. In Governing with the News, Timothy E. Cook goes far beyond the single claim that the press is not impartial to argue that the news media are in fact a political institution integral to the day-to-day operations of the three branches of our government.

The formation of the press as a political institution began in the early days of the republic when newspapers were sponsored by political parties; the relationship is now so central that press offices are found wherever one turns. Cook demonstrates not only how the media are structured as an institution that exercises collective power but also how the role of the media has become institutionalized within the political process, affecting policy and instigating, rather than merely reflecting, political actions. Cook's analysis is a powerful and fascinating guide to our age when newsmaking and governing are inseparable.

"This is a wonderful analysis of a highly important topic. Tim Cook is resoundingly right that we need to look at the media as political institutions and their operatives as political actors."—David R. Mayhew, author of Divided We Govern

"This meticulously researched and well reasoned work proposes to take seriously a thesis which flies in the face of both journalistic lore and political myth. Governing with the News is an innovative contribution to our understanding of media."—W. Lance Bennett, author of News: The Politics of Illusion

"This book should be read by journalists . . . by mass communication faculty teaching courses in media structure or effects and journalism faculty as a supplemental text to courses in media history and media management."—Benjamin J. Burns, Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly

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