Silencing the Opposition examines how two cycles of political protest -- the test ban movement of the first Eisenhower and the Kennedy administrations and the nuclear freeze movement of Reagan's first term -- were represented by the media. Rojecki finds that the space devoted to the opposition as well as the quality of the coverage varied widely from the first to the second period, reflecting vastly different climates of public opinion and foreign policy.
Rojecki determines that a subtle shift in political culture has reduced the grounds of legitimacy for citizen protest. This shift finds its roots in the rationalization of policy making that characterizes large government agencies, think tanks, and university departments. As public debate over nuclear politics has become increasingly restricted, the potential for ordinary citizens to influence policy has become more and more circumscribed while nuclear weapons have continued to proliferate.
"An excellent review of public policy on nuclear weapons, media coverage of peace movements' efforts to defuse them, and government and media efforts to pre-empt activists' roles... Rojecki's position is well articulated and documented... Well written, thorough, accessible, and well worth reading." -- Bill Israel, Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly "A very useful study, opening the door to public understanding of how the communications media responded to one of the major citizens' campaigns of modern times." -- ISIS "Offers a well-documented and carefully crafted study of the pivotal role that the news media play in the success or failure of popular political movements... Though many of the ideas here are not new, Rojecki brings them together in a fresh and thought-provoking manner. " -- Pamela A. Brown, Journalism History "A very useful study, opening the door to public understanding of how the communications media responded to one of the major citizens' campaigns of modern times." -- Lawrence S. Wittner, ISIS ADVANCE PRAISE "This very important study gives us a thoughtful treatment of the way American mass media outlets cover dissenters and dissenting ideas."-David S. Meyer, author of A Winter of Discontent: The Nuclear Freeze and American Politics