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The News Media Chapter 15. The Evolution of Journalism in the U.S.

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Presentation on theme: "The News Media Chapter 15. The Evolution of Journalism in the U.S."— Presentation transcript:

1 The News Media Chapter 15

2 The Evolution of Journalism in the U.S.

3 Journalism-the process of collecting and disseminating the news 4th Branch of Government-the American Media Anti-Federalists and the press-fought for freedom of the press in the Bill of Rights Early partisan press-papers sponsored by the respective parties Washingtons condemnation of the press-upset over coverage of his battle tactics in the newspapers

4 Penny press-newspapers supported by advertising The sensational and the scandalous- accentuating the sordid side of politics Yellow journalism-oversimplification and sensationalized coverage Muckraking-uncovering scandal Role of corporate profit-papers were careful not to offend advertisers Electronic media supplants newspapers and magazines-politicians begin to use alternatives

5 The U.S. Media Today

6 Print press-newspapers, books, newsletter, journals and magazines Electronic media-radio and television networks and the Internet

7 Print Media Increase in # of journalists covering Washington-2300 to 4100 in last 20 years Decline of newspaper circulation and readership- drop in readship amongst the young Newspaper chains and decline in competition 13 chains own 54% of circulation, only 12 cities have competing newspapers

8 Radio and Television Advent of radio in early part of the 20th century citizens heard the voice of their leaders for the first time FDR and the Fireside Chats-calmed citizens about his program and, later, the effects of the war Rise of right wing radio in Mid-1980s conservatives uncovered the medium of talk radio to advance their philosophy

9 Importance of Television due to increased number of sets and number of cable and commercial networks TV versus print-83% of Americans get news from television versus 50% from news Role of cable television-taking viewers away from major networks

10 Niche journalism catering to a specific group of viewers C-Span-carries congressional business in an unvarnished version Local television news growth and lack of substance- more Americans prefer local news coverage to national news but local news lacks substance

11 The Internet Rise of Internet as source of news and information-13% of Americans now claim to get their news from the Internet Traditional news media on Internet national networks and major newspapers now have sites on the Internet U.S. government on Internet all 3 branches and most departments have own site on the Internet

12 Alternative media on Internet-foreign outlets give international take on the news Al-Jazerra Middle Eastern version of CNN

13 National Influence of the Media What precludes nationally united print medium in U.S. size of country and number of large cities The 6 major national newspapers New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Christian Science Monitor, Washington Post, LA Times The 5 major television networks Fox, ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN

14 National news magazines Newsweek, Time and U.S. News and World Report Conservative, moderate, liberal news magazines Nation-left New Republic-moderate Weekly Standard-conservative The news generation gap (15.3) young gets news from Internet, old gets their news from TV

15 How the Media Cover Politicians and Government

16 How the Press and Public Figures Interact Press release printed document offering an official comment or position Press briefing restricted session between a press secretary and the press Press conference unrestricted session between an elected official and the press On background

17 Deep background info can be attributed to a source Off the record comment may not be printed On the record comments may be printed Media manipulation by politicians campaign consultants plan how to present candidates Politicians bypassing national media media bypassed in favor of releases, talk shows and orchestrated events

18 Covering the Presidency First among equal branches in coverage- the executive branch because of clarity of focus FDR and the bully pulpit used presidency to shape public opinion and explain actions Role and history of presidential press secretary-main disseminator of information has only existed since Hoover (1929) Conflict between reporters and the White House over what is news on what gets covered, who gets asked and how and for how long a story gets covered

19 Negative coverage of the presidency Studies have shown coverage of the president to be usually unfavorable George W. Bush and reluctance to face the press only 13 press conferences as compared to hid dads 64 Scott McClellan Bush press secretary

20 Covering Congress Why is it difficult for news media to survey Congress? The size and decentralized nature of Congress News media focuses on 3 groups in covering Congress 1. Leaders of both houses 2. Key Committee Chairs 3. Local senators and reps ( by local stations ) Negative coverage of Congress focuses on conflict between members

21 Coverage of investigative committee hearings due to scandals McCarthy sought the identity of Communists in the government Enron and WorldCom came under scrutiny because of their contributions to campaigns Abu Ghraib investigated the treatment of prisoners at Iraqui prison

22 Media Coverage of Local Elections News media impact on local elections same as impact on national elections Effect of increasing nationalization of media chains on local election coverage local issues often omitted Difficulty of candidates for local office to get coverage because local stations cover their platforms

23 Investigative Journalism and the Character Issue Watergate scandal was first major journalistic investigation Public perception of the press after Watergate-media less description and more prescription Woodward and Bernstein-became first investigative journalisms stars

24 Voters who get their political info from TV as opposed to print rely on traits rather than issue positions like those who get their info from newspapers Effect of press assumptions on the character trend in reporting 1. Press replaced party as the screening committee for candidates 2. Press feel it is their duty to expose candidates weaknesses 3. Press feels that it is giving the public what it wants and scandal sells

25 Libel-written defamation of character that injures a persons reputation NY Times v. Sullivan (1964) defamation not enough, must include malice Actual malice-knowing something is false and acting recklessly in publishing it

26 Media Bias Media bias telling an untruth, part of the truth or out of context Characteristics of reporters fallible humans who have values, preferences and attitudes Corporate bias of the media-media with corporate connections showed pro-business bias Failure of national media to question the Bush administrations false claims of WMDs and tied to terrorism before Iraq invasion charged by media critics-read page 565

27 Effect of increasing fragmentation and competition in media on bias is becoming intentional Ideological fragmentation of media media no longer hide their bias Ideological Web sites on the Internet feature tailored content

28 The Medias Influence on the Public

29 Effect of media on the public press has little effect in most cases because people see what they want to see What limits ability of news media to sway public opinion peoples own bias Media effects-the influence of news sources on public opinion

30 How media-influenced changes might occur 1-uncommitted people can be swayed 2-media has greater impact on foreign stories 3-media can determine the topic of the day 4-media shapes publics perceptions of a candidate 5-may determine outcome of election with premature projections 6-may spotlight a negative aspect of domestic picture (economy in 1992)

31 Increasing Use of Experts What influences use of experts What impact experts have on shaping American views What guarantees of reliability of experts

32 The Publics Perception of the Media

33 Low public confidence in news media only 11% report confidence in the media Credibility ratings for national news media public identifies them as biased and sensational Credibility of TV versus print media Broadcast media get higher marks than print media

34 Top problems facing journalism quality of coverage for national journalists and financial problems for local journalists Fox News vs. CNN-Fox more favorable in evaluations of Bush-page 573 Nonprofit organizations research on media-Accuracy in Media and FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting) keep track of media accuracy

35 Government Regulation of the Electronic Media

36 2 reasons for unequal treatment of print and broadcast media 1. Airwaves are considered public property 2. Airwaves are in limited supply 1996 Telecommunications Act-deregulation brought together different types of mediums and helped form media giants such as Comcast FCC-Federal Communications Commission-responsible for policing the media 2003 changes by FCC on media diversity-corporations could now own different kinds of media in different markets

37 2003 changes on ownership-newspapers could own radio and TV stations and vice versa FCC on limits on total national audience a corporation may reach-audience increased from 35% to 45% Effects of deregulation-corporations could monopolize the media and there was a decrease in competition Opposition to deregulation-bipartisan opposition-conservatives see immoral use of the media-liberals fear loss of community based media

38 Content Regulation Content regulation-must serve public interest Equal time rule-must sell air time equally to all candidates if they wish to at all 2000 FCC rule on chance to respond- stations must allow candidates time to respond to attacks by the station Fairness doctrine-broadcasters must cover events adequately and must allow for contrasting opinions

39 Red Lion Broadcasting v FCC case supported the fairness doctrine-man attacked on show and asked for opportunity to respond Reagans FCC abolishes fairness doctrine arguing that the # of stations could provide diversity of opinion Reagan veto of new fairness doctrine bill on grounds that it violated freedom of press

40 Efforts to Regulate Media Practices Prior restraint-telling the press what they may not print ahead of time Pentagon Papers-classified papers about the Vietnam War stolen by Daniel Ellsberg New York Times v U.S.-court ruled that only a free press could …expose deception in the government.

41 1991 Gulf War and Vietnam Syndrome thought that medias freedom to frame events caused popular resistance 2003 Iraq invasion and imbedded journalists Journalists assigned to and travel with fighting units Demise of freedom through corporation consolidation of media outlets caused by lack of competition

42 Efforts to Regulate Media Practices Around the World Media in dictatorships only approved messages released Media in constitutional democracies have mutually beneficial relationship with royal families Media in Middle East-best served by Al-Jazeera with satellite and web coverage BBC- British Broadcasting Company-owned by country and subject to strict regulations on release of government secrets D-notice-when British media submit questionable content for government approval

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