ABSTRACT

Appreciation for the power of public opinion and the influence wielded by the press has continued since Lincoln's comment. Such concerns address the processes of influence by which American democracy functions. As Lincoln's comment shows, in the mid-1800s the earlier notion of classical democracy, whereby a government responds directly to the wishes of its public, with the

mass media serving as a go-between, was being questioned. Later, political analysts like Key and Lippmann provided a new view of the democratic process: Elected political elites decide upon policies for the public, and the public can make itself heard through political parties, which serve to link policymakers with their constituents.