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By Loren Miller The Early Days Long before there was a United States, the news media were active in colonial America. Ben Franklin, in 1729, published.

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Presentation on theme: "By Loren Miller The Early Days Long before there was a United States, the news media were active in colonial America. Ben Franklin, in 1729, published."— Presentation transcript:


2 By Loren Miller

3 The Early Days Long before there was a United States, the news media were active in colonial America. Ben Franklin, in 1729, published one of the earliest newspapers, the Pennsylvania Gazette. Newspapers had relatively low circulation, due partly to cost and partly because they were available only in major cities.

4 The Penny Press Beginning in the 1830s, the New York Sun began selling newspapers for a penny copy rather than the standard price of six centsthus earning the label the penny press. The price reduction was made possible by cheaper, faster printing presses and it made the newspaper available to the mass public. The increase in circulation made it possible to hire larger staffs of reporters. The telegraph also aided newspapers by enabling reporters throughout the country to quickly send stories home for publication.

5 Yellow Journalism The period after the Civil War saw the beginning of yellow journalism. This new type of newspaper reporting appealed to a wider audience by using bold headlines, illustrations, and sensational stories. William Randolph Hearst helped to precipitate the Spanish-American War by influencing public opinion in favor of war. You furnish the pictures, Ill furnish the war

6 The FCC The FCC was created in 1934 to regulate broadcast media. At that time this meant radio stations and subsequently included television stations, cable TV, and other communication technologies. A central concern was that one company might buy enough stations to dominate the airways in an area. This led the FCC to limit the number of radio and television stations a company could own in a community.

7 The FCC In the late 1940s the FCC developed the fairness doctrine which required TV and radio stations to offer a variety of political views in their programming. Sunday morning talk shows and interviews The FCC also created the equal time provision which states that if a radio or television station gives air time to a candidate outside its news coverage, then it has to give equal time to other candidates running for the same office.

8 Deregulation After the development of cable TV, satellite TV and the Internet many sources of information became available to citizens. Hence, there was pressure to deregulate. Since 1996, the FCC has abolished most ownership restrictions. The trend now is concentration of media sources and cross ownership where one company owns several different kinds of media outlets in a community.

9 News Corporation Fox Television StationsFilm Companies Books and Magazines 27 U.S. stations 20 th Century Fox The Weekly Standard Fox Searchlight Pictures TV Guide Fox Television Studios 3 Other Magazines Blue Sky Studios 45 Book Publishers 11 Other Film Companies Satellite and Cable Newspapers Other DirecTV New York Post L.A. Kings Fox News Channel Wall Street Journal L.A. Lakers 46 Other Cable Channels 4 UK newspapers 20 Australian Newspapers 18 websites 24 local U.S. newspapers 15 other businesses

10 The Media and the Electoral Process Running a campaign for office is unthinkable today without strong presence on the Internet, including heavy use of social networking media. At the same time, traditional media such as daily newspapers and broadcast television and radio remain vitally important to political parties and their candidates for public office.

11 The Source of Your Political Information How many candidates for president did you see (face to face) in 2012? For U.S. senator? For the U.S. House of Representatives? -- If you didnt see these people to form an opinion about them and their views, then how did you learn about them? -- where did your political information come from? -- 100 years ago people did not know much about candidates for office, but they did know about political parties -- today, candidates have greater control over their campaigns

12 Election of 1900 Note the prominent position of the party label

13 Lets Check Out Some Television Ads From 2012 The first is for Mitt Romney (5 Trillion) The second is for Barak Obama (Always) Whats missing from each commercial?

14 The Media Sixty years ago, newspapers dominated the mass media that affected American politics -- people learned the new of the day through their daily newspapers and in major cities multiple newspapers competed with each other and morning and afternoon newspapers were standard Thirty years ago, three major networks dominated television broadcasting -- in 1980 42% of all television households in the United States were tuned into the nightly news broadcasts -- in 2009 only 15% were tuned into the nightly news

15 The Media While television remains the most important media source in the political world, it is also true that the Internet is assuming a greater role in American politics -- in 2010, 46% of Americans went online for news three or more times a week -- in 2010, 41% of Americans used the Internet as their primary source for news The web has passed newspapers as a main source of news for Americans -- this development is more pronounced among the young and those with a college education

16 Percentage of Americans Who Regularly Watch/Read/Listen to News via Various Outlets Local Television News50 Dailey Newspaper40 Search Engine33 Community Newspaper30 Network Evening News28 Fox News23 Network Morning Shows20 CNN18 Social Networking Sites16 Network Sunday Morning Shows16 National Public Radio11 MSNBC11 Online Blogs11 The OReilly Factor10 The Daily Show 7 Rush Limbaugh Radio Show 5 Pew Research Center, 2010

17 Partisanship and Credibility Believe All or Most of Republicans Democrats Gap What Organization Says Fox News 41% 21% +20 USA Today 16 20 -4 Network News 17 30 -13 New York Times 14 31 -17 60 Minutes 25 42 -17 CNN 19 40 -21 National Public Radio 16 37 -21 MSNBC 13 34 -21 2010

18 Media Sources for News

19 The Media The number of blogs, where anyone can post political commentary increases every day as does their readership Almost any individual can produce and disseminate video across the web Almost everyone has a cell phone with a digital camera and politicians know that they are never truly off the record (Mitt Romney and the 47%) Social networking sites have made it easier than ever for individuals to disseminate information to potentially large audiences There is no doubt that the Internet has changed politics in important and dramatic ways

20 All my life, developing credentials to cover my field of work, and now Im up against a guy named Vinny in an efficiency apartment in the Bronx who hasnt left the efficiency apartment in two years. Brian Williams, NBC News


22 Not all bloggers are like Vinny. Many bloggers have backgrounds very similar to traditional journalists, and have a wide following. The Daily Kos Hugh Hewitt (Liberal) (Conservative)

23 The Impact of the Internet It is more difficult for politicians to control their message and content Twenty years ago, politicians had a pretty good idea of what sources their constituents would turn to for news -- national politicians were concerned about the major networks -- statewide politicians concentrated on local outlets, television stations and major newspapers -- local politicians hoped for television coverage but tried to ensure that the local press covered them adequately

24 The Impact of the Internet Todays politicians try to find an audience wherever it might appear Candidates appear on The Daily Show and The Colbert Report Candidates have elaborate websites and produce video and other content specifically for websites like YouTube, Facebook and Twitter Candidates participate in conference calls with popular bloggers The media environment is so fragmented that media consultants worry about where to communicate a message just as much as they worry about what the message is to communicate

25 % Who Learn About Campaigns From Comedy Shows Age Colbert Report

26 The Media Prior to the 1970s, reporters covered the news. Today, candidates for office take actions in order to be covered by the mediaand preferably covered in their own terms. Politicians try to structure the ways in which they appear on free media outlets. -- Saturday Night Live; The Colbert Report; Leno, Letterman or OBrien (Bill Clinton on Arsenio Hall Show, 1992)Bill Clinton on Arsenio Hall Show, 1992 -- there is some evidence that politicians raise more money after appearing on these shows Paid media is used to present the message as they define it in a way most likely to impact the intended audience.

27 Paid Media Paid commercials for political campaigns come from three sources: -- candidates and their campaigns -- the political parties -- interest groups Two categories of television advertisements: -- spot advertisements -- under one minute in length; colorful and polished -- longer advertisements -- often thirty minutes in length (infomercials) -- many consultants believe that the attention span of people is too short for these to be effective

28 Purpose of Advertisements Once a candidate has achieved viability, advertisements are used for one of two purposes: -- either they are intended to convince people to vote for the candidate -- positive adspositive ads -- or they are designed to denigrate an opponent -- negative adsnegative ads Why use negative or attack ads? -- candidates believe that these techniques are effective -- do negative campaigns keep qualified people from seeking elective office? -- do negative campaigns turn off voters?


30 Politicians View of the Media You cant live with em.... Politicians complain frequently about: -- how unfairly they are treated by the media -- how difficult it is to talk about issues -- how paid advertising presents distorted images -- how they wish they could talk about issues at length, not in sound bites Their actions tell a different story: -- every politician has a press secretary whose job is to guarantee that the politician is seen frequently in the media

31 Politicians View of the Media Every campaign has a press secretary who is charged with the care and feeding of journalists covering the campaign. -- candidates treat the press well so that journalists are inclined to treat them favorably -- press secretaries want to influence the substance of the stories that are reported (the proper spin) Every campaign hires political consultants to design and place effective advertisements. None of this sounds like politicians who cannot stand the media.

32 Politicians View of the Media.... you cant live without em Elected officials need to communicate with large numbers of people -- mass media (free and paid) are the only effective means of doing this The problem is one of balance: -- should private matters from their past be raised in a campaign? -- alleged instances of infidelity (Clinton, 1996) -- tax returns (Romney, 2012) -- medical records (McCain, 2008)


34 Managing the News Campaign organizations attempt to manage the news to present their candidates in the most positive light. -- campaign managers choose a single theme to emphasize each campaign day (taxes, the environment, crime) -- if the candidate and the members of the candidates team address the same issue and only that issue, the news media will likely focus on that issue The campaign selects an eye-catching visual backdrop to emphasize the theme of the day.

35 Managing the News Campaign managers carefully brief the candidates to stick to the campaign script. -- each speech includes one or two carefully worded phrases that can be used as sound bites -- Read my lips, no new taxes (G.H.W. Bush, 1988) -- Obamacare (Romney, 2012)

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