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Eleanor Townsley
Mount Holyoke College (South Hadley, MA 01075-1461)
American Media Intellectuals in the Public Sphere, 1993-2002

I seek funding to complete my book about the space of elite opinion in the contemporary United States. Compared to factual news reporting, media opinion and commentary are rarely studied. My goal is to do just this: to identify those practices which bear directly on the conditions of critical rational communication in the public sphere--what Habermas famously called the "public's use of its reason." I provide a thick description and comparative analysis of the styles of speech and claims to authority made by different kinds of speakers in print and on television, using large archives of newspaper op-eds and television transcripts from 1993-1994 and 2001-2002. Sources include the New York Times, USA Today, Face the Nation (CBS News), Crossfire (CNN), The Lehrer News Hour (PBS) and Hannity & Colmes (Fox News).

[Grant products][Media coverage]

Project fields:

Fellowships for College Teachers and Independent Scholars

Research Programs

$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2008 – 6/30/2009