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HKS Authors

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Abstract

Public opinion and the media form the foundation of the United States' representative democracy. They are the subject of enormous scrutiny by scholars, pundits, and ordinary citizens. This Oxford Handbook takes on the "big questions" about public opinion and the media--both empirical and normative--focusing on current debates and social scientific research. Bringing together the thinking of a team of leading academic experts, its chapters provide a cutting assessment of contemporary research on public opinion, the media, and their interconnections. Emphasizing changes in the mass media and communications technology--the vast number of cable channels, websites and blogs, and the new social media, which are changing how news about political life is collected and conveyed--they describe the evolving information interdependence of the media and public opinion. In addition, The Oxford Handbook of American Public Opinion and the Media reviews the wide range of influences on public opinion, including the processes by which information communicated through the media can affect the public. It describes what has been learned from the latest research in psychology, genetics, and studies of the impact of gender, race and ethnicity, economic status, education and sophistication, religion, and generational change on a wide range of political attitudes and perceptions. The Handbook includes extensive discussion of how public opinion and mass media coverage are studied through survey research and increasingly through experiments using the latest technological advances.

Citation

Baum, Matthew A., and Angela Jamison. "Soft News and The Four Oprah Effects." Oxford Handbook of American Public Opinion and the Media. Ed. George C. Edwards, Lawrence R. Jacobs, and Robert Y. Shapiro. Oxford University Press, 2011, 121-137.
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