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
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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