Saturday, 9 May 2009

Are the Media to blame?

In yesterday's post I mentioned the work of John Hibbing and Elizabeth Theiss-Morse. In discussing 'what is wrong with the American political system' they comment -

"If open debate is seen as bickering and haggling; if bargaining and compromise are seen as selling out on principle; if all support staff and division of labor are needless baggage; if carefully working through problems is sloth; and if all interests somehow become evil special interests, it is easy to see why the public is upset with the workings of the political system."

This raises the question of how much the media moulds our perception of politics. My post yesterday suggested that we all naturally hold contradictory positions on democracy. Yet do the Daily Mail and Daily Express and the shock-jocks incessantly provoke our negative feelings? Would a more responsible media mean that our politicians are better understood and appreciated? Would Parliament's reputation be enhanced if more coverage was given to the calm, methodical and bipartisan work of Select Committees - and Prime Minister's Question Time given less prominence?

Do you agree with Glenn Parker's comment that "the public often lacks the basic understanding of the legislative process that would lead to an appreciation of the significance of legislative actions"?

Are the media to blame? - Your comments are appreciated.