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The Denigration of Political Authority in Television News: The Ecology Issue

Richard A. Pride and Barbara Richards
The Western Political Quarterly
Vol. 28, No. 4 (Dec., 1975), pp. 635-645
DOI: 10.2307/447982
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/447982
Page Count: 11
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
The Denigration of Political Authority in Television News: The Ecology Issue
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Abstract

This paper presents an analysis of stories dealing with the ecology issue from September 1968 through April 1970. This data is used to investigate the charge that television news is so homogeneous, so speculative and so negative that it serves to undermine political authority. As sources of potential denigrative impact, the authors looked at newsplay, sentence structure, and the treatment of selected symbols. Overall the findings do not support the denigration model. Differences are found among the networks in the newsplay given environmental stories, in the language structure, and in the treatment of symbols. Governmental symbols were not made to appear disproportionately negative. These results are consistent with earlier studies of race relations and of the student movement. Taken together, they provide strong evidence contradictory to the denigration model.

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