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Television News and the Supreme Court

Television News and the Supreme Court
All the News that's Fit to Air?

  • Date Published: January 1999
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521576161

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About the Authors
  • Beginning with the recognition that the Supreme Court is the most invisible branch of American government and the one that most Americans know the least about, this book examines the way in which television news, the primary source of the public's limited knowledge, covers the Supreme Court. The book relies on rich interviews with network news reporters who have covered the Court, coupled with actual videotapes of network newscast coverage, to develop a unique portrait of the constraints faced by reporters covering the institution as well as a thorough picture of what facets of the Court's work actually are covered by television news. The analysis demonstrates convincingly that there are characteristics of the television news industry (such as its heavy reliance on dramatic stories and visuals) that, coupled with the rules and habits of the Supreme Court (such as its refusal to allow cameras in the Court as well as its propensity to announce several critical rulings on the same day) come together to make network news coverage of the Court infrequent, brief, and in too many instances, simply plain wrong.

    • Interviews with the nation's top Supreme Court reporters, as well as the Court's Public Information Officer
    • A detailed content analysis of two full years of television newscast coverage of the Court to develop a thorough portrait of news coverage
    • Uses different research approaches ranging from intensive case studies to development of a multivariate model
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    Product details

    • Date Published: January 1999
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521576161
    • length: 280 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 16 mm
    • weight: 0.42kg
    • contains: 12 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of tables
    Acknowledgements
    1. Television news: a critical link between the Supreme Court and the American public
    2. The Supreme Court beat: a view from the press
    3. Television news and the Supreme Court: opportunities and constraints
    4. A tale of two cases: Bakke and Webster
    5. A tale of two terms: the 1989 and 1994 court terms
    6. 'The Supreme Court decided today …' - or did it?
    7. Which decisions are reported? It's the issue, stupid!
    8. Television news and the Supreme Court: all the news that's fit to air?
    Appendix: schedule of interviews
    Notes
    References
    Index.

  • Authors

    Elliot E. Slotnick, Ohio State University

    Jennifer A. Segal, University of Kentucky

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