Thursday, August 27, 2009

Reasons for Paying Attention

Citizens do need to be more engaged in politics, but the reasons for paying attention need to be clearer to them, the benefits of stronger citizenship must be more evident, and the opportunities to learn about politics more frequent, timely, and equitable.
- Michael X. Delli Carpini & Scott Keeter
What Americans Know About Politics and Why It Matters

The quote above, from an excellent book I've had shamelessly checked out of the university library now for a million years, gets right to the point I'll be addressing for the next few days -- the reasons for paying attention. For the average American, what are they? Do they still work? What does this mean for news, and for journalism? For democracy? Are we -- to steal a great book title -- Amusing Ourselves to Death?

This is serious stuff. I'll summarize much of what I've blogged about before, look at some of the more recent research, and ask why someone should even want to pay attention to the business of public affairs.

Stay tuned, or clicked, or whatever the hell it is you do for a blog.

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