Manufacturing policies: the media’s role in the policy making process
Media systems play an integral role in shaping the social context in which policies are developed. Despite evidence of the powerful effects that investigative journalism and expos鳠have on policymaking processes, very little work has specifically investigated the links between the media and policymaking in the past. Things started to change in 1986, when Martin Linsky wrote the seminal book Impact: How the Press Affects Federal Policymaking. Unfortunately though, this field still tends to be rather under theorized, even today. Through the media, citizens learn how government policies will affect them, and governments gain feedback on their policies and programs. Media systems act as the primary conduit between those who might want to influence policy and the policymakers - controlling the scope of political discourse and regulating the flow of information. Some posit that the media plays an insignificant role in policy making processes, while others suggest it has a powerful monolithic influence on all policy processes; a more likely scenario is that its degree of influence varies considerably, being issue based in nature. This leads to the question of which policy issues will be most effected and which least effected by media coverage? It is one of the key questions that this paper sets out to explore, discussing both domestic and foreign policymaking separately in turn.
Journalism Education Conference