chapter  4
From Pax Americana to Fax Americana 1 : Communication Research and the Study of Politics
WithDaniel K. Berman
Pages 41

Information is the most difficult of all commodities to guard, as it can be stolen without removing it. The intimacy of the relationship between information, communication and political power is so widely recognized as to be almost axiomatic. All great despots have mastered the dynamic as a simple necessity of survival. Ideas can be much more lethal than guns, said V. I. Lenin, explaining his decision to forbid freedom of speech and freedom of the press. At least since Julius Caesar posted his version of the day’s news, the Acta Diuma, to neutralize the speeches of his opponents in the Roman Senate, politics and communication have intersected in fundamental and fascinating ways. Numerous schemes have been offered for conceptualizing the distinctions in communication research at any given time, as well as the changes in this research over time.