Almost twenty-five years ago, Shanto Iyengar and Donald R. Kinder first documented a series of sophisticated and innovative experiments that unobtrusively altered the order and emphasis of news stories in selected television broadcasts. Their resulting book News That Matters, now hailed as a classic by scholars of political science and public opinion alike, is here updated for the twenty-first century, with a new preface and epilogue by the authors. Backed by careful analysis of public opinion surveys, the authors show how, despite changing American politics, those issues that receive extended coverage in the national news become more important to viewers, while those that are ignored lose credibility. Moreover, those issues that are prominent in the news stream continue to loom more heavily as criteria for evaluating the president and for choosing between political candidates.
“News That Matters does matter, because it demonstrates conclusively that television newscasts powerfully affect opinion. . . . All that follows, whether it supports, modifies, or challenges their conclusions, will have to begin here.”—The Public Interest