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ERIC Number: ED454554
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996-Sep
Pages: 9
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
Shaping American Political Discourse through Media Punditry and Ideological Pontification. (Mass Communication Instructional Unit.)
Reppert, James E.
An instructor uses a unique instructional paradigm in his MCOM 1003/Introduction to Mass Communication course at Southern Arkansas University (SAU) in a unit on media and politics. According to his students, one of the most popular learning strategies is the use of original edited videos that focus on dubious practices by some media professionals. While watching these videos, students evaluate how print and broadcast pundits practice "predictive journalism." The question is whether politics or journalism is well served by this practice. Moreover, this tendency of journalists to prognosticate or pontificate is becoming more of a staple of conversation/questioning on Sunday network and cable television political talk shows. Students must understand how this trend affects news coverage of the political process. What questions or comments (ideally, non-predictive) might SAU students ask if placed in similar circumstances? This paper examines some of the programs on which pundits used their less-than-reliable crystal balls in discussing several recent elections. The paper considers the formats and components of various weekend political talk shows, including "This Week with David Brinkley,""Meet the Press,""The McLaughlin Group," and "The Capital Gang." It concludes that students need a sense of perspective when critically evaluating these programs, and that though shrill exchanges often make political talk show participants sound more like professional wrestlers, solid information can still be obtained by viewers. It also states that more low-key programs, such as "Washington Week in Review" on PBS or "Washington Journal" on C-SPAN, might better suit some viewers. (NKA)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A