Talk Show Democracy

April 29, 1994 • Volume 4, Issue 16
Are call-in programs good for the political system?
By Kenneth Jost


The proliferation of talk shows on radio and television has given politicians a new way to talk to their constituents. The public also gets a new way to make its views known and even sometimes to talk directly to its leaders -- from President Clinton on down. But some critics view talk show democracy with concern, if not alarm. They fear that talk show hosts entertain more than they inform. They also complain that talk hosts like Rush Limbaugh and fellow conservatives are unfairly demonizing Clinton, Congress and all levels of government. But other political observers say talk shows are providing a valuable alternative to traditional news media and creating a new, interactive forum that will become more and more important in the years to come.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Apr. 29, 1994  Talk Show Democracy
Feb. 19, 1938  Regulation of Radio Broadcasting
May 25, 1932  Radio Advertising and Radio Regulation
May 21, 1931  Radio Competition with Newspapers
Mar. 31, 1924  Radio Development and Monopoly
Campaigns and Elections
Campaigns and Elections
Movies and Entertainment
Radio and Television