Media attention can play a profound role in whether or not officials act on a policy issue, but how policy issues make the news in the first place has remained a puzzle. Why do some issues go viral and then just as quickly fall off the radar? How is it that the media can sustain public interest for months in a complex story like negotiations over Obamacare while ignoring other important issues in favor of stories on "balloon boy"? With Making the News, Amber E. Boydstun offers an eye-opening look at the explosive patterns of media attention that determine which issues are brought before the public. At the heart of her argument is the observation that the media have two modes: an "alarm mode" for breaking stories and a "patrol mode" for covering them in greater depth. While institutional incentives often initiate alarm mode around a story, they also propel news outlets into the watchdog - like patrol mode around its policy implications - until the next big news item breaks. What results from this pattern of fixation followed by rapid change is skewed coverage of policy issues, with a few receiving the majority of media attention while others receive none at all.
Boydstun documents this systemic explosiveness and skew through analysis of media coverage across policy issues, including in-depth looks at the waxing and waning coverage around two issues: capital punishment and the "war on terror." Making the News shows how the seemingly unpredictable day-to-day decisions of the newsroom produce distinct patterns of operation with implications - good and bad - for national politics.
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press ISBN: 9780226065434 Number of pages: 240 Weight: 499 g Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 20 mm
Simply reserve online and pay at the counter when you collect.
Available in shop from just two hours, subject to availability.
Thank you for your reservation
Your order is now being processed and we have sent a confirmation email to you at
This item can be requested from the shops shown below. If this item isn't available to be reserved nearby, add the item to your basket instead and select 'Deliver to my local shop' at the checkout, to be able to collect it from there at a later date.
When will my order be ready to collect?
Following the initial email, you will be contacted by the shop to confirm that your item is available for collection.
Call us on or send us an email at
Unfortunately there has been a problem with your order
Please try again or alternatively you can contact your chosen shop on or send us an email at