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By C. Danielle Vinson

Participants of Congress have more and more embraced media kinfolk to persuade policymaking. In Congress and the Media, Vinson argues that congressional individuals use the media to complement their formal powers or to catch up on their loss of energy to give an explanation for why congressional contributors cross public and once they tend to achieve getting coverage.

summary: participants of Congress have more and more embraced media family to steer policymaking. In Congress and the Media, Vinson argues that congressional individuals use the media to complement their formal powers or to make amends for their loss of energy to provide an explanation for why congressional participants move public and once they are inclined to reach getting assurance

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Overall, the trends in coverage of who has gone public in Congress have remained remarkably consistent over time. In all but six years, rank-​and-​file members received the most coverage of their public efforts, usually followed by committee leaders and then party leaders. And if we divide the thirty-​nine-​year time period into thirds, we see only slight changes over time in the percent of cases involving party leaders, committee leaders, and rank-​and-​file members. However, when we look more at the contexts that might affect who chooses to go public and who gets covered, we find some interesting and significant changes over time.

Thirty-​five percent of the cases related to defense and national security issues took place from 1977 to 1989, but only 17 percent occurred over the next thirteen years; that jumped up to 48 percent from 2003 to 2015. What explains such variations from year to year or longer? Several possibilities stand out: the president’s agenda, real-​world events, and changes over time in the political landscape. 9 Presidents have a range of venues in which to introduce their legislative priorities—​from the State of the Union address to major addresses and political travel around the country to press conferences and direct communication with Congress.

In 1989 it was the fifth most discussed issue, and after a drop in 1993, it went back up in 1995 and was the third most discussed issue in 2001. Although only 54 percent of the cases of going public occurred in 1989 or later, 71 percent of the cases involving party politics took place in 1989 or later years. The full data set corroborates this, with 88 percent of the cases involving party politics occurring after 2000. This reflects the growing polarization that has been evident in Congress over time.

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