The Public Congress: Congressional Deliberation in a New Media Age

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Routledge, May 22, 2012 - Political Science - 206 pages

Contemporary members of Congress routinely use the media to advance their professional goals. Today, virtually every aspect of their professional legislative life unfolds in front of cameras and microphones and, increasingly, online. The Public Congress explores how the media moved from being a peripheral to a central force in U.S. congressional politics. The authors show that understanding why this happened allows us to see the constellation of forces that combined over the last fifty years to transform the American political order.

Malecha and Reagan’s keen analysis links the new "public" Congress and the forces that are shaping political parties, the Presidency, interest groups, and the media. They conclude by asking whether the kind of discourse that this "new media" environment fosters encourages Congress to make its distinctive deliberative contribution to the American polity. This text brings historical depth as well as coverage of the most current cutting edge trends in new media environment and provides an exhaustive treatment of how the U.S. Congress uses the media in the governing process today.


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1 Introduction
The New Front on the Hill
The Foundation for Congressional Public Strategies
Members Adapt to Going Outside
Marketing the Brand
Strategies Successes and Failures in Message Marketing
The Public Relations Battle Over the Stimulus Package
Challenges of Deliberating While Turned Inside Out

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About the author (2012)

Gary Lee Malecha is Associate Professor in the department of political science at University of Portland.

Daniel J. Reagan is Associate Professor in the department of political science at Ball State University.

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