This book is among the first to systematically explore the impact of community inequality on reporting political and social change. Although most journalism scholars are still fascinated by the impact of media on society, Media and Social Inequality explores the reverse perspective: the impact of society on media. Using a 'community structure' approach, and rejecting the perspective that studies of media and audiences can be reduced to the individual level of psychological phenomena, all contributions examine connections between community-level 'macro' characteristics and variations in the coverage of critical issues. This innovative book differs from previous community structure volumes in two ways. First, contributions explore a far wider range of community characteristics by employing creative methodologies, modern archives, and databases that facilitate larger, more diverse samples; multilevel and longitudinal analyses; composite measures of both 'content' and editorial judgment; new technologies; and social network analysis. Second, a traditional emphasis on media as instruments of political and social 'control' is replaced by media as potential mirrors of social 'change,' exploring 'bottom-up' measures of 'vulnerability', 'concentrated disadvantage', and 'ethnic diversity/pluralism'. The volume contains two original chapters: one on nationwide US coverage of the "Occupy" movement in the expanded introduction, and another on nationwide US coverage of universal health care.
This book was originally published as a special issue of Mass Communication and Society.
John C. Pollock (Ph.D., Stanford) is a Professor in the Communication Studies Department at The College of New Jersey, USA. He was Senior Fulbright Scholar, Argentina, 2010 and is the author of Tilted Mirrors: Media Alignment with Political and Social Change - A Community Structure Approach (2007). His major research and teaching interests include health communication, journalism, and mass communication, in particular comparative methologies (cross-national or multi-city) exploring the impact of society on media.
1. Introduction: Community Structure Scholarship: An Emerging Realignment John C. Pollock 2. Structural Pluralism in Journalism and Media Studies: A Concept Explication and Theory Construction Seungahn Nah and Cory L. Armstrong 3. Mass Media as a Macrolevel Source of Social Control: A New Direction in the Community Structure Model Masahiro Yamamoto 4. Social Capital in a Community Context: A Multilevel Analysis of Individual- and Community-Level Predictors of Social Trust Douglas Blanks Hindman and Masahiro Yamamoto 5. Structural Determinants of Local Public Affairs Place Blogging: Structural Pluralism and Community Stress Brendan R. Watson and Daniel Riffe 6. Nationwide Newspaper Coverage of Universal Healthcare: A Community Structure Approach Kristen Kiernicki, John C. Pollock and Patrick Lavery 7. Structural Pluralism and the Community Context: How and When Does the Environment Matter? Leo Jeffres, Edward Horowitz, Cheryl C. Bracken, Guowei Jian, Kimberly A. Neuendorf and Sukki Yoon 8. Shaping the Agenda of Local Daily Newspapers: A Methodology Merging the Agenda Setting and Community Structure Perspectives Maxwell McCombs and Marcus Funk