How Media Coverage of Congress Limits Policymaking


Manage episode 287010801 series 1740975
By Niskanen Center - The Science of Politics and Niskanen Center. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.
Advocates and legislators often want to generate media attention for their preferred legislation, but that does not help pass bills in Congress. Mary Layton Atkinson finds that media coverage focuses on legislation with partisan conflict and emphasizes process over policy substance. That tells voters that Congress is dysfunctional and full of extremists, reducing support for policy change. John Lovett finds that media coverage leads to more intervention by backbencher legislators, creating a spiral of increasing salience that makes it harder for leadership to pass bills. Congressional media coverage turns off the public with stories of conflict-ridden sausage making that disrupt internal consensus-building.

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