History and Government Faculty Publications

Title

Across the Page and Down the Dial: Media Usage and Evaluations of the Christian Coalition

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

9-1-2000

Journal Title

Social Science Quarterly

Volume

81

Issue

3

First Page

855

Last Page

867

Abstract

The article focuses on the relationship between media consumption and perceptions of interest groups in the United States. Inhabitants of the late twentieth century suffer from a glut information. The media remedy this malady by functioning as latter-day "hunters gatherers," for they constantly collect, evaluate, compress, and communicate information to the public. The modern mass media, however, is multifaceted, and some of its segments function differently than others. Scholars currently refer to two kinds of media--traditional and alternative. Television and print media are traditional outlets, while the Internet and talk radio are considered alternative. This traditional-alternative dichotomy may be politically significant. Alternative media hunt and gather differently than the traditional media because they can get beyond standard news definitions and structural restrains. This ability allows the new media to take information directly to the consumer, and, as a result, the information probably appeals to a different crowd; or the largely unfiltered material may produce viewers and listeners unlike those fashioned by the traditional media. The political ramifications are clear. Groups may segregate themselves according to, or be segregated by, the media they consume.

Keywords

Mass media, Christian Coalition, politics


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