"In the pages that follow, we trace the emergence of a place that looks like a real democracy, and a real country, but is in fact a construct, like reality but not real. It is Virtual America."
The new technologies of the 1990s, Ed Diamond and Robert Silverman argue, have helped create a blowhard culture, a talk-show politics driven by instant news analysis, over-reliance on public-opinion polls and focus groups, the power of Know-Nothing call-in shows, and the unchecked gossip of online computer networks.
The Media Show is a lively analysis of one of the underreported major stories of our time: the growing power and influence of the media. In these essays and reports critic Edwin Diamond takes a hard look at the methods of the American media during a period of heightened competition and increased conglomeration, focusing on the way news stories are shaped, and sometimes distorted.
"For now—the 1980s—television is still in its prime time, and hearing the first intimations of mortality." And what will follow TV? More TV, TV that is different and yet not all that different. In this evocative book, Edwin Diamond points out that what we see on television today closely reflects our culture and society and politics and will continue to do so.
Good News, Bad News is one of the few recent works of press criticism in which substance and style are fully in harmony. The reader is neither overwhelmed with raw data nor dazzled by flashy opinions unsupported by documentation: the authority of the research that informs Diamond's opinions is always in evidence. Much of the book is based on material compiled by the News Study Group, in the Political Science Department at MIT.
The book's three parts cover the 1976 campaign, changes in television, and changes in print journalism