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THE NEWS MEDIA Chapter 15 Mr. Manzo American Government: Continuity and Change.

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Presentation on theme: "THE NEWS MEDIA Chapter 15 Mr. Manzo American Government: Continuity and Change."— Presentation transcript:

1 THE NEWS MEDIA Chapter 15 Mr. Manzo American Government: Continuity and Change

2 In this chapter we will cover … Changes over the years Nature of media coverage today Effects of the media Regulation of the media Politicians and media Symbiotic relationship THE NEWS MEDIA

3 A Complex Relationship The relationship between the media and policymakers is both subtle and complex. No easy conclusions about who influences whom in what circumstances can be drawn. Television has quickened the pace of the news but it by no means determines American public policy. However, it is also clear that the media is a powerful institution that affects multiple facets of American political life.

4 The Media of Yesteryear and Today Change: Media Types Print –Newspapers and magazines –Books Electronic – Radio and TV – Cable TV, Satellite TV – Internet, Social Media (Twitter, Facebook)

5 Technological Advances Papers became cheaper and easier to produce and distribute, the telegraph and telephone made reporting simpler and faster. Radio became widely available in the 1920s and television was introduced in the late 1940s. Cable was invented in the 1970s, CNN was founded in 1980, and the Internet didn't become well-known until the late 1990s.

6 Declining Readership of Newspapers Newspapers lost nearly 5.5 million readers between 1986 and The phenomenal growth of the Internet has given the newspaper industry a new source of competition


8 Expansion of Internet The countries in black are connected to the Internet.

9 A Reciprocal Relationship Politicians actively court the medias favor and ascribe to the its power to make or break government policy. Research shows that the mass media have an effect both on public opinion and on the shape of policy choices decision makers face.



12 Change: Role of the Media First newspapers appeared as early as 1690 Early day of newspapers were partisan press. Mid 1800s Penny Press for the masses The late 1800s was know as Yellow journalism. The 1920s gave way to muckraking. Todays press tries to be more objective.

13 Broadcast Media Radio News evolved in the 1900s Today, talk radio is a source of political commentary. Television becomes a major news source beginning in the 1960s. It remains a major source of news today Move away from network news to cable news. Growth of comedy news programs

14 The Contemporary Media Professionalization of Journalism A number of newspapers have a national audience and are considered quite influential: –The New York Times –The Wall Street Journal –USA Today –The Christian Science Monitor –The Washington Post –The Los Angeles Times These newspapers have a huge effect on television.

15 Role of the Media Primary Role: Inform People Scorekeeper Gatekeepers Watchdogs –Watergate –Vietnam –War in Afghanistan –Scandals (corruption)

16 Media Regulation Federal Communication Commission (FCC) regulates interstate and international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite and cable in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories. It was established by the Communications Act of 1934 and operates as an independent U.S. government agency overseen by Congress.

17 No Prior Restraint The first notable case in which the United States Supreme Court ruled on a prior restraint issue was Near v. Minnesota, 283 U.S. 697 (1931). In that case the Court held prior restraints to be unconstitutional, except in extremely limited circumstances such as national security issues. The ruling came about after Jay Near's newspaper, The Saturday Press, a small local paper that ran countless exposés of Minneapolis's elected officials' alleged illicit activities, including gambling, racketeering, and graft, was silenced by the Minnesota Gag Law of 1925, also known as The Public Nuisance Law. Nears critics called his paper a scandal sheet, and alleged that he tried to extort money threatening to publish attacks on officials and others. In the Near case the Court held that the state had no power to enjoin the publication of the paper in this way – that any such action would be unconstitutional under the First Amendment.

18 Telecommunications Act 1996 The Telecommunications Act of 1996, a comprehensive law overhauling regulation of the telecommunications industry, recognizes the importance of access to telecommunications for people with disabilities in the Information Age. Section 255 of the Act requires telecommunications products and services to be accessible to people with disabilities. Telecommunications products covered include: wired and wireless telecommunication devices, such as telephones (including pay phones and cellular phones), pagers, and fax machines other products that have a telecommunication service capability, such as computers with modems

19 The Pace of the News The increasing rapid pace of electronic news and televisions global coverage shortens the time frame for policy responses. In 1961, when the Berlin Wall went up, President Kennedy had 8 days to respond to the provocative action. In 1989, when the wall came down, President Bush was forced to respond overnight.

20 The Media and Politicians Research indicates that roughly 2/3s of officials in policy decisions reported that the media was their most rapid source of information. Over 4/5s indicated that the media were an important source of information.


22 How Politicians Use the Media Politicians and government officials often stage media events in order to gain free media coverage. Love Hate Relationship (symbiotic) Candidates and politicians try to control or 'spin' media focus regarding campaign and policy issues. Candidates and politicians may 'leak' a story to the press in order to get their story out without being the focus of that story. Sound bite – comments compressed into several seconds. Press Release, Press Conference

23 How Politicians Use the Media Equal Time Rule – if a stations sells time to one candidate it must be willing to sell time to the opposing candidate. Right of Reply Rule - if a person is verbally attacked on a broadcast program he/she has the right to respond on that same Program. On the Record - all that is said can be quoted and attributed Un-attributable - what is said can be reported but not attributed Off the Record - the information is provided to inform a decision or provide a confidential explanation, not for publication On deep background - information may not be included in the article but is used by the journalist to enhance his or her view of the subject matter, or to act as a guide to other leads or sources. On background -briefing may be reported (and the source characterized in general terms as above) but direct quotes may not be used. New York Times v. Sullivan (1964) sets libel boundaries.

24 Covering Government The President garners attention from the bully pulpit. The President speaks through the press secretary or press conference. Coverage of the President is generally unfavorable. Congresss 535 members pose a challenge Coverage of Congress is generally negative Supreme Court is more private, coverage is limited. PolitiFact

25 Media Influence on the Public Press has little effect on long term belief. Media effect may lead to short term changes in opinion. Media sways uncommitted and raise new issues. May also play agenda setting and framing roles.

26 Media Bias Questions about the effects of the media 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. People tend to choose news that supports their opinion.

27 Seventy-five percent of Republicans and conservatives say the media are too liberal. Democrats and liberals lean more toward saying the media are "just about right," at 57 percent and 42 percent, respectively. Moderates and independents diverge, however, with 50 percent of independents saying the media are too liberal and 50 percent of moderates saying they are just about right.

28 Imperviousness of Beliefs Generally neither reading nor watching the news alters what people think. Selective perception is a pervasive human tendency. People search for comfortable information that fits with preexisting beliefs. People screen out or reject information with which they disagree. In short, we see what we want to see and hear what we want to hear.

29 The Medias Influence Do the media have too much influence on policymaking? If so why? If not, why do so many people think the media are so influential? How should a citizen use the media? Should we always believe the news media when they make claims? How can we become better consumers of information?

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