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The Influence of the Media on Politics

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1 The Influence of the Media on Politics
The Pervasiveness of Television - Television becomes major news source in 1960s. - It remains a major news source today. - Movement away from network news to cable. - Growth of comedy news programs. The Persistence of Radio - Radio news evolved in early 1900s. - Today, talk radio is a source of political commentary. The Declining Importance of Newspapers The World Wide Web Newspapers and television use Web sites. People who read Internet news also use other sources. Also provides access to other countries’ news. Debate over whether the Internet is good for politics: Blogs, citizen journalists

2 The Influence of the Media on Politics
Years 2000, 2004, 2007 Whenever there is a crisis, most people turn first to television for information

3 The Pervasiveness of Television
Greater reliance on experts and pundits. Use of cable channels for narrowcasting. The growth of around-the-clock cable news and information shows is one of the most important developments in recent years. Half of the public are regular viewers of CNN, CNBC, MSNBC, or Fox News.

4 Radio and Newspapers Radio Newspapers
One household in 100 does not have a radio, compared with 4 in 100 without television 9 out of 10 people listen to the radio every week; 8 out of 10 do so every day Daily newspaper circulation is one copy for every six people Core newspaper audience is aging USA Today is the nation’s top-circulation newspaper

5 The Internet Technology Gap or Digital Divide
AGE Internet Access 15-24 yrs. 56.4% 25-34 yrs. 55.9% 35-44 yrs. 57.8% 45-64 yrs. 51.1% 65 + yrs. 20.7% RACE White, non-Hispanic 55.6% African American 34.3% Asian 51.8% Hispanic (any race) 29.8% Educational Attainment Less than high school 9.0% High school/GED 30.8% Some college or associate 54.3% Bachelor or higher 73.5% Family Income Less than $25, % $25,000 - $49, % $50,000-$74, % $75,000-$99, % $100,000 or more 74.1% Technology Gap or Digital Divide In 2007, 29% of Americans surveyed did not have Internet access anywhere U.S. Census Bureau, Internet Access by Selected Characteristics: 2009 (in percentages)

6 The Changing Role of the American News Media
Political Mouthpiece - The Power of the Media The media not only provide an arena for politics; they are themselves players in that arena

7 Where Americans Get Their News
The Power of the Media Where Americans Get Their News

8 The Changing Role of the American News Media
Financial Independence “Objective Journalism” A Sampling of Rupert Murdoch’s holdings Rupert Murdoch is owner of News Corporation - the world's second-largest media conglomerate (behind The Walt Disney Company) as of 2008 and the world's third largest in entertainment as of 2009, Myspace.com and TV Guide Why should we be concerned about the concentration of ownership in the media? A shrinking number of owners and editors exercise great power over what is communicated to large numbers of people.

9 The Changing Role of the American News Media
The Impact on Broadcasting - Franklin D. Roosevelt was the first president to recognize the effectiveness of radio to reach the public The televised Presidential Debate between Kennedy and Nixon

10 The Changing Role of the American News Media
Newspapers first appeared as early as 1690. First newspaper: Boston News-Letter, April 1704 Avoided controversial issues During Revolutionary War, newspapers abandon impartiality and work to build resistance to British policies 1833 advent of the penny press 1848, creation of the Associated Press Yellow journalism Centralization of ownership of newspapers in early 20th century has continued to this day In the early days of the U.S., the press was partisan. Movement from financial support of the press by political parties to expanded circulation and more emphasis on advertising led to the development of the penny press. Penny press newspapers were cheap, tabloid-style papers produced in the middle of the 19th century by Benjamin Day & the NY Sun, then in 1835 James Gordon Bennett’s NY Herald, and then in 1841 the NY Tribune were peddled in the streets. AP was formed in May 1846 by a group of 5 newspapers in NY including the Sun and Herald who wanted to pool resources to collect news, i.e. Mexican American War. Beginnings of Yellow Journalism: In 1898, newspapers provided the major source of news in America. At this time, it was common practice for a newspaper to report the editor's interpretation of the news rather than objective journalism. If the information reported was inaccurate or biased, the American public had little means for verification. With this sort of influence, the newspapers wielded much political power. In order to increase circulation, the publishers of these papers often exploited their position by sponsoring a flamboyant and irresponsible approach to news reporting that became known as "yellow journalism." Though the term was originally coined to describe the journalistic practices of Joseph Pulitzer, William Randolph Hearst proved himself worthy of the title. Today, it is his name that is synonymous with "yellow journalism.“ The 1920s gave rise to muckraking ( to search for and expose real or alleged corruption, scandal, etc. in politics. Today the press tries to be more objective. “You provide the pictures, I’ll provide the war.”

11 The Changing Role of the American News Media
Investigatory Journalism Seymour Hersh and the Pentagon Papers Robert Woodward and Carl Bernstein and Watergate Nina Totenberg and Clarence Thomas Michael Isikoff and Monica Lewinsky The "Pentagon Papers" is the popular term for a 7,000-page top-secret United States government report on the history of the internal planning and policy-making process within the U.S. government concerning the Vietnam War.

12 The Changing Role of the American News Media
Media Conglomerates Some of the largest include: AT&T CBS Corporation & Viacom (owned by National Amusements) Comcast Corporation General Electric Hearst Corporation News Corporation Sony Time Warner Grupo Televisa The Times Group Vivendi The Walt Disney Company New York Post

13 The Changing Role of the American News Media
Regulation of the Media Standards and norms of the journalistic profession. 1996 Telecommunications Act. Content regulation of the broadcast media. Equal time rule. Prior restraint not permitted.

14 Mediated Politics The Media and Public Opinion
Press has little effect on long term beliefs; Media effects may lead to short term changes in opinion; Media sways uncommitted voters and raises new issues. One very popular tactic of politicians trying to get free press is to stage “pseudo-events”

15 Mediated Politics The Media and Public Opinion
Officials want to control information about themselves and their policies, including the way such information is framed and presented by the media Strategies to Control the Media: Isolating the candidate from the media; Holding staged media events; Using spin; Appearing on talk shows or in candidate debates.

16 Mediated Politics Factors That Limit Media Influences on Public Opinion Political Socialization Selectivity Needs Recall and Comprehension Audience Fragmentation

17 Are the Media Biased? Questions about effects of media bias; Media bias unavoidable--journalists are human; Media generally thought to be liberal; Recent growth of conservative news sources; Looking at good stories over issues; Can be charmed by interesting personalities. What do these figures imply about the practice of selective exposure?

18 Sources of Media Power Socializing Interpreting
The power to set the context, to frame the issue, to interpret the facts, and potentially to provide legitimacy for people, issues, or groups are powerful and controversial functions of the media Socializing The media is an agent of socialization, teaching us political facts and opinions that help form our political belief-structures and our political culture

19 Mediated Politics Public Opinion
Agenda Setting - The media’s ability to determine which issues will be covered, in what detail, and in what context - and conversely, of deciding which stories are “not news” and thus are not going to be covered Issue Framing - Issue framing in a political context, means presenting an issue in a way that will likely get the most agreement from others. From a political sense, language is often used as a way to gain compliance on contentious points sound bytes In modern times, issue framing tends to involve a great deal of work. Before political speeches are written, focus groups or surveys may be performed to analyze the most effective strategies for addressing an audience. This is particularly the case with speeches in high profile campaigns or State of the Union Addresses in the US.

20 Public Opinion Issue Framing The power to set the context, to frame the issue, to interpret the facts, and potentially to provide legitimacy for people, issues, or groups are powerful and controversial functions of the media Agenda Setting Deciding what will be presented, defining the problems and issues to be addressed by decision makers

21 The Partisanship and Ideology of Journalists, Policy Makers, and the Press

22 The Media and Elections
Choice of Candidates Presidential candidates welcome invitations to appear with Oprah, Leno, or Letterman, and try to reformulate their messages in a light, comedic style that fits the program

23 The Media and Elections
Campaign Events Where Americans Learn About Candidates and Campaigns How does the media affect campaigns? Determining “front-running candidates” Charging for advertising Televising debates Portraying charismatic politicians as more “electable”

24 The Media and Elections
Technology - With the Web, citizens now have the opportunity to interact with each other on a wide range of political topics Image Making and Media Consultants A portrait of Abraham Lincoln as “Abe the Rail Splitter” and Barack Obama as a family man. The Media Impact on Voter Choice Personality over Substance The Horse Race Negative Advertising Information About Issues The horse race aspect of campaign coverage refers to the candidate’s standing in the polls.

25 The Media and Elections
The Media Impact on Voter Choice Making A Decision Election Night Reporting The Media and Governance When policies are being formulated and implemented, decision makers are at their most impressionable. Some critics contend that the media’s pressuring policy makers to provide immediate answers forces them to make hasty decisions. When policies are being formulated and implemented, decision makers are at their most Impressionable. Yet by that time, the press has moved on to another issue. Lack of press attention to the way policies are implemented explains in part why we know less about how government officials go about their business than we do about heated legislative debates or presidential scandals. Some critics contend that the media’s pressuring policy makers to provide immediate answers forces them to make hasty decisions, a particular danger in foreign policy: If an ominous foreign event is featured on television news, the president and his advisers feel bound to make a response in time for the next evening news broadcast.

26 The Media and Governance
Political Institutions and the News Media President garners most attention through bully pulpit. - Speaks through press secretary or press conferences. - Coverage of the president is generally unfavorable. Congress’ 535 members pose a challenge. - Coverage of Congress is also generally negative. Supreme Court is more private; coverage is limited. Officials may issue press releases. May also hold briefings or conferences. Speak to reporters on background or deep background. May also get information off the record. New York Times v. Sullivan (1964) sets libel boundaries. Presidents have become the stars of the media, particularly television, and have made the media their forum for setting the public agenda and achieving their legislative aims. Presidential news conferences command attention. A president attempts to manipulate news coverage to his benefit, as in the Bush administration’s decision to embed reporters with U.S. forces during the early stages of the Iraq War. Presidents or their staff also selectively leak news to reporters. Members of Congress have long sought to cultivate positive relationships with news reporters in their states and districts. They typically have a press relations staffer who informs local media of newsworthy events, produces press releases, and generally tries to promote the senator or representative. The focus of this media cultivation is on the individual member and not on the institution of Congress as a whole. Congress is more likely to get negative coverage than either the White House or the Supreme Court. Unlike the executive branch, it lacks an ultimate spokesperson, a single person who can speak for the whole institution. Congress does not make it easy for the press to cover it. Whereas the White House attentively cares for and feeds the press corps. Most coverage of Congress is about how it reacts to the president’s initiatives. The federal judiciary is least dependent on the press. The Supreme Court does not rely on public communication for political support. Rather, it depends indirectly on public opinion for continued deference to or compliance with its decisions. The Court does not allow television cameras to cover oral arguments, controls the release of audiotape, and bars reporters as well as anyone other than the justices when it meets to discuss cases. It has strong incentives to avoid being seen as manipulating the press, so it retains an image of aloofness from politics and public opinion. The Court held that the First Amendment protects the publication of all statements, even false ones, about the conduct of public officials except when statements are made with actual malice (with knowledge that they are false or in reckless disregard of their truth or falsity). Under this new standard, Sullivan's case collapsed.

27 Presidential News Conferences with White House Correspondents
President Average per Total Month Number Herbert Hoover ( ) Franklin D. Roosevelt ( ) Harry Truman ( ) Dwight Eisenhower ( ) John Kennedy ( ) Lyndon Johnson ( ) Richard Nixon ( ) Gerald Ford ( ) Jimmy Carter ( ) Ronald Reagan ( ) George Bush ( ) Bill Clinton ( ) George W. Bush ( ) Barack Obama ( ) SOURCE: Gerhard Peter. “presidential News Conferences.” The American Presidency Project. Ed. John T. Woolley and Gerhard Peters. Santa Barbara, CA University of California

28 National Advertising Council Federal Media Commission
Approximately what percentage of United States households do NOT have a television? 2% 5% 15% 25% Which federal agency is responsible for regulating the media? National Advertising Council Federal Media Commission Federal Communications Commission None of these A, C

29 Work to enhance the image of their candidate
Media consultants _______. Work to enhance the image of their candidate Try to create a negative image of the opposing candidate Use focus groups to advise their candidate All of these D

30 Democrat Republican Independent Moderate The White House Congress
The party identification of most journalists is ______________. Democrat Republican Independent Moderate Which of these is most likely to receive negative coverage from the press? The White House Congress The Supreme Court State Legislatures C, B


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