The daily news plays a major role in the continuously changing mix of thoughts, feelings and behavior that defines public opinion. <i>The News & Public Opinion</i> details these effects of the news media on the sequence of outcomes that collectively shape public opinion, beginning with initial attention to the various news media and their contents and extending to the effects of this exposure on the acquisition of information, formation of attitudes and opinions and to the consequences of all these elements for participation in public life. Sometimes called the hierarchy of media effects, this sequence of outcomes describes the communication process involved in the formation of public opinion.
Although the media landscape is undergoing rapid change, key elements remain the same, and <i>The News & Public Opinion</i> emphasizes these basic principles of communication established over decades of empirical social science investigations into the impact of mass communication on public opinion. The primary audience for this book is students, both advanced undergraduates and graduate students, as well as members of the general public who want to understand the role of the news media in our civic life.