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Processing Politics

Learning from Television in the Internet Age

Processing Politics

Learning from Television in the Internet Age

How often do we hear that Americans are so ignorant about politics that their civic competence is impaired, and that the media are to blame because they do a dismal job of informing the public? Processing Politics shows that average Americans are far smarter than the critics believe. Integrating a broad range of current research on how people learn (from political science, social psychology, communication, physiology, and artificial intelligence), Doris Graber shows that televised presentations—at their best—actually excel at transmitting information and facilitating learning. She critiques current political offerings in terms of their compatibility with our learning capacities and interests, and she considers the obstacles, both economic and political, that affect the content we receive on the air, on cable, or on the Internet.

More and more people rely on information from television and the Internet to make important decisions. Processing Politics offers a sound, well-researched defense of these remarkably versatile media, and challenges us to make them work for us in our democracy.

Table of Contents

1. Political Television: Puzzles and Problems
2. Political Learning: How Our Brains Process Complex Information
3. To Know or Not to Know: Questions about Civic Wisdom
4. Freeing Audiovisual Technologies from the Gutenberg Legacy
5. The Battles over Audiovisual Content
6. Making News Selection, Framing, and Formatting More User-Friendly
7. Peering into the Crystal Ball: What Does the Future Hold?
Appendix: Methods


Harvard University, Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy: The Goldsmith Book Prize

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