Faces of Congress: Contemporary Media and Communication Strategy in the House of Representatives Public Deposited

Downloadable Content

Download PDF
Last Modified
  • March 19, 2019
  • Chergosky, Anthony
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Political Science
  • I examine the systematic patterns underlying the amount of media attention obtained by members of Congress from national television broadcasts, including ideological cable news outlets and Sunday morning political talk shows. I posit that members’ media visibility is determined by a two-step process: first, the perceived utility of media appearances for members in pursuing their goals, and second, by their ability to satisfy the media’s crucial objectives of highlighting powerful figures and political conflict. Based on my theory, I predict that ideologically extreme members will make up a disproportionate share of members interviewed on cable news, while institutional leaders within Congress (such as party and committee leaders) will comprise a disproportionate share of members interviewed on the Sunday talk shows. I find that institutional leaders make significantly more appearances on Sunday shows than other members, while ideologically extreme members do not gain a substantively meaningful boost in visibility from these shows relative to less extreme members. Meanwhile, institutional leaders and ideologically extreme members make significantly more appearances on cable news than other members of Congress. My results display that the faces of Congress presented to the public differ across media types, with the goal-seeking behavior of members appearing to reinforce the permanent campaign in Congress.
Date of publication
Resource type
Rights statement
  • In Copyright
  • Treul, Sarah
  • MacKuen, Michael
  • Roberts, Jason
  • Master of Arts
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Graduate School
Graduation year
  • 2015
Place of publication
  • Chapel Hill, NC
  • There are no restrictions to this item.

This work has no parents.