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|Title:||Media Influence on Regional Government Decision-Making|
|Authors:||Fitzpatrick, Peter J.|
|Abstract:||<p>It is often said that the media are one of the most powerful forces shaping contemporary political life. To explore this assertion, the following thesis considers the relationship of community decision-makers to dominant newspapers in two regional government systems.</p> <p>The investigation begins with a theoretical review of community decision-making and media analyses and proposes to combine these in a unified study. Next, through the use of four case studies and personal interviews, it analyses the community power structures of the two regional government systems. Finally, it considers the media's influence upon decision-makers and policy outcomes.</p> <p>The evidence uncovered suggests the media possess the ability to influence decision-makers in at least four ways: agenda-setting and building; publicizing decisions; controlling information; and legitimizing policy participants. Sometimes this power is used deliberately and on other occasions unwittingly. In none of the instances considered, though, were the newspapers capable of exerting influence when acting independently without the cooperation of some community influentials. For this reason, the media were collectively regarded by policy participants as either a useful ally or dangerous foe occupying an ambiguous place in relation to the community power structure.</p> <p>At the same, this investigation also discovered that traditional elite and pluralist community power theories are inadequate for describing local decision-making. Instead, there appears to be a demand for an analytical approach that incorporates elements of both schools.</p>|
|Appears in Collections:||Open Access Dissertations and Theses|
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