DEBATING WAR AND PEACE BY JONATHAN MERMIN

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DEBATING WAR AND PEACE BY

JONATHAN MERMIN

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DEBATING WAR AND PEACE BY JONATHAN MERMIN PDF

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From the Back Cover

"This book is an important contribution to our understanding of how foreign policy agendas are constructed in the media. Jonathan Mermin proceeds systematically, presenting illuminating cases that utilize both content analysis and contextual interpretation. His analysis offers useful ideas about how we can evaluate the quality of public deliberation underlying foreign policy decisions."--Lance Bennett, University of Washington

"Debating War and Peace is an excellent and long-needed addition on the topic of media and foreign policy. Comparing a range of American foreign policy initiatives, the book combines outstanding scholarship and a clear articulation of important arguments. It should be read not only by scholars but also by journalists, policymakers, and general readers interested in how the media covers foreign policy."--Ann N. Crigler, University of Southern California

About the Author

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DEBATING WAR AND PEACE BY JONATHAN MERMIN PDF

The First Amendment ideal of an independent press allows American journalists to present critical perspectives on government policies and actions; but are the media independent of government in practice? Here Jonathan Mermin demonstrates that when it comes to military intervention, journalists over the past two decades have let the government itself set the terms and boundaries of foreign policy debate in the news. Analyzing newspaper and television reporting of U.S. intervention in Grenada and Panama, the bombing of Libya, the Gulf War, and U.S. actions in Somalia and Haiti, he shows that if there is no debate over U.S. policy in Washington, there is no debate in the news. Journalists often criticize the execution of U.S. policy, but fail to offer critical analysis of the policy itself if actors inside the government have not challenged it. Mermin ultimately offers concrete evidence of outside-Washington perspectives that could have been reported in specific cases, and explains how the press could increase its independence of Washington in reporting foreign policy news.

The author constructs a new framework for thinking about press-government relations, based on the observation that bipartisan support for U.S. intervention is often best interpreted as a political phenomenon, not as evidence of the wisdom of U.S. policy. Journalists should remember that domestic political factors often influence foreign policy debate. The media, Mermin argues, should not see a Washington consensus as justification for downplaying critical perspectives.

"This book is an important contribution to our understanding of how foreign policy agendas are constructed in the media. Jonathan Mermin proceeds systematically, presenting illuminating cases that utilize both content analysis and contextual interpretation. His analysis offers useful ideas about how we can evaluate the quality of public deliberation underlying foreign policy decisions."--Lance Bennett, University of Washington

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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful. Required reading for scholars and citizens alike. By A Customer

This book lays out in precise detail how media coverage of recent American military interventions has been determined by the spectrum of debate within the government itself. As a result, the press has reported only a very limited set of positions vis-a-vis these wars. Consensus within the government about them has led to the appearance of national consensus, and informed dissent has in such cases gone largely unreported. For citizens whose political ideas fall to the right or left of the mainstream, and who are therefore suspicious of the government's agendas, this should be unsettling news indeed. Though Mermin's account is measured and aims at ideological neutrality, the implications might well be grounds for outrage on the part of anyone who cares about the twin ideal of democratic process and informed citizenry.

0 of 0 people found the following review helpful. Who shapes public policy?

By Brandon L. Bigelow

John Mermin turns the old saw -- "we lost Vietnam because the liberal press turned against the effort" -- on its head in "Debating War and Peace." Instead, Mermin suggests that the modern media fails to fulfill the important role of a free and independent press in a democratic society. Taking recent conflicts as his starting point, Mermin concludes that the modern media, rather than critically examining government policies and providing a crucial independent source of information to an informed public, frequently parrots the conventional wisdom inside the Washington Beltway. For those who are troubled by consolidation in the media industry, the trivialization of major issues, and the potential sway of a "liberal" press, this may not be such a bad result. Nevertheless, Mermin's book warns us to read the news from Washington, D.C. with a critical eye, especially in a time when the rapid-fire news-cycle prevents reporters from pursuing more than a sound-bite about the issues of the day.

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DEBATING WAR AND PEACE BY JONATHAN MERMIN PDF

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From the Back Cover

"This book is an important contribution to our understanding of how foreign policy agendas are constructed in the media. Jonathan Mermin proceeds systematically, presenting illuminating cases that utilize both content analysis and contextual interpretation. His analysis offers useful ideas about how we can evaluate the quality of public deliberation underlying foreign policy decisions."--Lance Bennett, University of Washington

"Debating War and Peace is an excellent and long-needed addition on the topic of media and foreign policy. Comparing a range of American foreign policy initiatives, the book combines outstanding scholarship and a clear articulation of important arguments. It should be read not only by scholars but also by journalists, policymakers, and general readers interested in how the media covers foreign policy."--Ann N. Crigler, University of Southern California

About the Author

Jonathan Mermin earned a Ph.D. and has been a lecturer in the Department of Political Science at Yale University, where he has led a major course on the news media and American politics. He has contributed to Political Science Quarterly and Political Communication.

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