Shaping Public Opinion: How Real Advocacy Journalism(TM) Should Be Practiced
Janice Ellis, author
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.