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There is a growing, if not urgent, need to understand the difference between the advocacy journalism being practiced today and Real Advocacy Journalism™. More importantly, we all need to readily recognize when one or the other is at play in trying to influence public opinion, or urge a hopeful, trusting public to action. The author revisits the works of Walter Lippmann, one of the foremost advocate journalists of the last 100 years for a roadmap on how to know the difference.
Complex local, regional, national, and global issues are often covered and treated with a biased and simplistic approach. This happens all too frequently when the public is asked to form an opinion or support an action about issues such as: should we go to war or support a war; what is the appropriate health care policy for the majority of citizens; how can gun violence be curbed; what are the distinctions between terrorism, foreign or homegrown; is climate change a real threat to civilization or a man-made hoax; and, on and on….
Shaping Public Opinion will have special resonance with journalists, political columnists/commentators, pundits, political leaders, other influencers of public opinion, the professors who teach and the students who study them as well as citizens who are concerned about the trajectory and course of our national and international political dialogue.
“This book…urges journalists to turn to the example of Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Walter Lippmann…. A central argument is that Lippmann embodied what the author terms ‘Real Advocacy Journalism,’ which eschewed demagoguery and tribalism for a belief that ‘reason, logic, facts, truth, and clear and graphic language’ were the ‘most effective instruments of public (mass) persuasion….’ Remarkably well-researched,…the book admirably demonstrates the value of using the famed 20th-century journalist in 21st-century conversations about public knowledge, journalistic ethics, and public persuasion. In a world of tweets, sound bites, and hot takes, the eloquence, nuance, and logical style of Lippmann, as convincingly displayed by Ellis, is a welcome respite. A…well-researched and convincingly argued case.” --Kirkus Reviews, The most trusted voice in book reviews since 1933
“Essential reading for today. Powerful and timely.”
--Chanticleer International Reviews, Discovering Today’s Best Books through Editorial Book Reviews
“Award-winning author Janice Ellis dives deep into the work of legendary Walter Lippmann, the original, authentic real advocacy newsman, and rigorously presents compelling, page-turning scholastic evidence of how real advocacy journalism can change the course of a nation.”
--Donna Brazile, National Political Commentator, FOX, CNN, ABC
“Janice Ellis, instead of simply complaining about the highly polarized nature of America’s politics and its broader society today, proposes a rational and achievable solution…. Her goal is not more strident voices yelling past each other but, rather, credible, wise journalism that helps our nation find its way in a post-fact world that’s deeply anxious about the future.”
-- Bill Tammeus, Past president, National Society of Newspaper Columnists
“Finally, a book with practical solutions to help journalists go beyond superficial reporting of angry claims and counter-claims from political opponents.”
-- Cynthia Newsome, Veteran Television Anchor, KSHB-41 TV, Kansas City, MO
“Janice Ellis seeks to bridge the gap between the preponderance of conflicting conspiracy theories interwoven in the media with truth,…that interferes with the public’s ability to question, examine, and respond to… issues that impact their lives.” -- Lillie Smith Bailey, PhD, Associate Professor of English, and Author of The Point of It All
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