In the early twentieth century, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Walter Lippmann said that the presentation of truthful news lies at the heart of democracy. This volume stems from Dan D. Nimmo's conviction that opinion and policymaking are also significant, interrelated processes within any political system. A democracy poses problematic questions of the manner and means by which political ideas, opinions, and issues are transmitted throughout the body politic. In the United States, such communication is carried on primarily through the news media. Reporters and their sources interact to form crucial relationships linking citizen and official. Nimmo focuses on that interaction, using personal interviews with selected samples of Washington correspondents and their official news sources as his evidence. Nimmo's research examines the relationships that develop between news sources and reporters as each engages in political communication, indicates the factors most influential in determining such relationships, and suggests the implications such findings have for interpreting the tension that characterizes government-press relations in a democracy such as the United States. In this era of heightened attention to the role of the media in political discourse, reissuance of this volume could not be timelier. This study features a new preface by Daniel Pearl Award winner Georgie Anne Geyer. It should be read by all media specialists, communication scholars, and journalists, and will be valuable for those entering these fields as well.
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