Constructing Public Opinion
How Politicians & the Media Misrepresent the Public
The media regularly use public opinion polls in their reporting of important news stories. But how exactly do they report them and to what end? In this insightful and accessible interview, Professor Justin Lewis demonstrates the way in which polling data are themselves used by the media to not just reflect what Americans think but instead to construct public opinion itself. Addressing vital issues (e.g., the role the media play in "manufacturing consent" for political elites, what polls really tell us about public opinion, what Americans actually think about politics), Constructing Public Opinion
provides a new way to think about the relationship between politics, media and the public.
Exploding the myth that most Americans are moderate or conservative, Constructing Public Opinion
demonstrates the way in which political elites help to promote the military industrial complex and how the media sustains belief in an electoral system with a built-in bias against the interests of ordinary people. Well illustrated with graphics and many examples of media coverage, it is the first film of its kind to present a critical analysis of media and public opinion.
Sections: Political Perceptions | Economic Forces | Media Coverage | The Phantom Liberal | Military Omissions | Democratic Ideals
Executive Producer: Sut Jhally
Director, Editor: Susan Ericsson
Official Selection, 2002 Black Point Film Festival
Praise for the Film
"This important video shatters conventional thinking about what is matter-of-factly reported as "public opinion" in the corporate-controlled media. Lewis's lucid and compelling argument will open viewers' eyes."
- Michael Morgan | Chair, Communication Dept. | UMass Amherst