The Global President

International Media and the US Government

By (author) Stephen J. Farnsworth, S. Robert Lichter, Roland Schatz

Publication date:

08 August 2013

Length of book:

216 pages

Publisher

Rowman & Littlefield Publishers

ISBN-13: 9780742560420

In The Global President: International Communication and the US Government, scholars Stephen J. Farnsworth, S. Robert Lichter and Roland Schatz provide an expansive international examination of news coverage of US political communication, and the roles the US government and the Presidency play in an increasingly communicative and interconnected political world. This comprehensive yet concise text will engage and inform students in many intersecting disciplines, as it includes analyses of not just the Presidency, but US foreign policy and contemporary political media itself. The media developed to keep pace with the headwinds of political change are being asked more and more to adapt to and enhance the ways in which policy-makers, voters, and students make sense of the process of governance.

The realities of an ever-changing political landscape are magnified nowhere more greatly than in the realm of foreign policy, and the stakes surrounding the need for quality communicational skills are no higher than at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue because - when the voices of the US government speak - the world is listening. This book provides students a perfect entry point into the complex and amorphous relationship between media and government, where that relationship has been, and where it looks to be heading in the future.
Those who continue to accept Fouad Ajami's oft-quoted claim that Al-Jazeera is 'a dangerous force' can profit from reading this analysis of international media coverage of American government during the George W. Bush and Obama presidencies. Farnsworth, Lichter, and Schatz use 'what [they] believe is the largest database of international television news content ever created' to show why this and other pieces of conventional wisdom about international media's coverage of the US should be revised. That Al-Jazeera gave even Bush 'surprisingly favorable coverage' is only one of the surprises that emerge from the authors' data analysis. The analysis interrogates both well-established theoretical principles such as that there is an 'international two-step flow' of media influence; and popular assumptions such as that sophisticated European media outlets flayed Sarah Palin during the 2008 campaign (coverage of Palin was actually 'far more positive in European media than in the U.S. media') . . . [T]heir findings are sufficiently arresting to interest any media scholar. Summing Up: Recommended. Undergraduates, all levels; graduate and research collections.