We Interrupt This Newscast: …How to Improve Local News and Win Ratings. Tom Rosenstiel, Marion Just, Todd Belt, Atiba Pertilla, Walter Dean and Dante Chinni. New York: Cambridge University Press. 2007. Available from Cambridge University Press, Amazon.com, or a library.
Local television newscasts around the country look alike and are filled with crime, accidents, and disasters. Interviews with more than 2,000 TV journalists around the country demonstrate that news looks this way because of the ingrained belief that 'eye-ball grabbers' are the only way to build an audience. This book contradicts the conventional wisdom using empirical evidence drawn from a five-year content analysis of local news in more than 154 stations in 50 markets around the country. The book shows that 'how' a story is reported is more important for building ratings than what the story is about. Local TV does not have to 'bleed to lead'. Instead local journalists can succeed by putting in the effort to get good stories, finding and balancing sources, seeking out experts, and making stories relevant to the local audience.
Terrorism now dominates the headlines across the world-from New York to Kabul. Framing Terrorism argues that the headlines matter as much as the act, in political terms. Widely publicized terrorist incidents leave an imprint upon public opinion, muzzle the "watchdog" role of journalists and promote a general one-of-us consensus supporting security forces.
Rethinking the Vote: The Politics and Prospects of American Electoral Reform. Ann Crigler, Marion Just, and Edward McCaffery, Eds. New York: Oxford University Press. 2003. Available from Amazon.com, or a library.
The book centers on what can and should be learned about the processes of voting. Using the 2000 presidential election as a starting point, this collection of essays puts forth a constructive effort to learn from what transpired and to offer potential solutions for the future. Featuring work by leading academics and participants in the real-world drama of the 2000 election, it examines the legal, political, and institutional problems of administering elections in the U.S. The book begins and ends with questions about the prospects and possibilities for reform. It takes a consistently pragmatic approach that recognizes both the constraints on and the opportunities for change in America's elaborate constitutional and political structures. Providing a useful mix of quantitative and qualitative data, Rethinking the Vote is ideal for undergraduate courses in American politics, American elections, public opinion and voting behavior, American political thought, campaigns and elections, presidential politics, and media and politics.
Crosstalk: Citizens, Candidates, and the Media in a Presidential Campaign. Marion Just, Ann N. Crigler, Dean E. Alger, Timothy E. Cook, and Montague Kern. Chicago: University of Chicago Press: 1996. Available from the University of Chicago Press, Amazon.com, or a library.
The most comprehensive portrait of a presidential campaign in more than a decade, Crosstalk focuses on the 1992 U.S. presidential race and looks at how citizens use information in the media to make their voting decisions and how politicians and the media interact to shape that information. Examining political advertisements, news coverage, ad watches, and talk shows in Los Angeles, Boston, Winston-Salem, and Fargo/Moorhead, the authors chart the impact of different information environments on citizens and show how people developed images of candidates over the course of the campaign. Crosstalk presents persuasive evidence that campaigns do matter, that citizens are active participants in the campaign process, and their perceptions of a candidate's character is the central factor in the voting process. This innovative study contributes significantly to our understanding of the 1992 presidential campaign and of campaigns in general, and shows how election campaigns can play an important role in the long-term vitality of democracy.
Articles and Chapters
“Measuring Affect, Emotion and Mood in Political Communication.” Ann Crigler and Marion Just in Holli Semetko, Ed. Emotions and Politics. Sage forthcoming.
“YouTube and TV Advertising Campaigns: Obama vs. McCain in 2008,” with Ann Crigler, Lauren Hume, Jesse Mills, Parker Hevron in Richard L. Fox and Jennifer M. Ramos, Eds. i-Politics: Campaigns, Elections, and Governing in the New Media Era, Chapter 4. Cambridge, U.K: Cambridge University Press, in press.
“What’s News in the 21st Century?” in Robert Y. Shapiro and Lawrence R. Jacobs , Eds. Oxford Handbook of Public Opinion and Media, Chapter 7. New York: Oxford University Press, 2011.
“The Local News: Is Quality a Choice?” Todd L. Belt and Marion Just. Political Communication 2: 194-215 (Spring 2008)
“The Invisible Primary—Invisible No Longer: A First Look at Coverage of the 2008 Presidential Campaign” sponsored by the Shorenstein Center and the Project for Excellence in Journalism, October 29, 2007. http://www.ksg.harvard.edu/presspol/miscellaneous/invisible_primary.pdf