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Chapter 6 Politics and the Media Mass Media Provides means of communicating with large number of people in short period of time. Print - newspapers,

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 6 Politics and the Media Mass Media Provides means of communicating with large number of people in short period of time. Print - newspapers,"— Presentation transcript:

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2 Chapter 6 Politics and the Media

3 Mass Media Provides means of communicating with large number of people in short period of time. Print - newspapers, magazines, books Electronic - TV, radio, movies, music, internet Been called the “5th Branch of Government”

4 Heritage of Media and Politics Herr Gutenburg – 1450 Germany Gazette of the U.S (Federalists) and National Gazette (Republicans) Telegraph(1838)/Telephone(1879) Radio(1900) TV(1929)/Cable(1978) Internet(1964)

5 Print versus Electronic Print is more detailed with Op-Ed section –Primary source for other media outlets TV - most trusted and used as source –73% audience Broadcast is more concise and graphics driven - “sound bites” –Human interest versus issue specific –VCRs and channel surfers –Infotainment shows - 60 Minutes and 20/20 Talk radio - 16% audience –Predisposed and usually conservative –Limbaugh, O'Reilly and Franken Internet – recent use of Blogs

6 American’s Primary News Source

7 News and Politics on the Net % of population uses as source Authorship and accuracy Matt Drudge and tabloid/blog reporting Push technology Cheapest way to convey information –groups and parties and media –fund raising increasing Most candidates have campaign and office web pages

8 Freedom of the Press Alien & Sedition Act Unlike the broadcast media, the print media are essentially unregulated. The Supreme Court has repeatedly rejected the notion of prior restraint (governmental attempts to stop publication of material it deems harmful). But libel and slander are not protected by the First Amendment.

9 Regulation of the Broadcast Media The print media in the United States are not controlled by the government. The broadcast media are regulated by FCC (5 year licenses) — equal time rule, — right of rebuttal, — fairness doctrine (no longer enforced).

10 Political Role of the Media Provides information public needs but wont research – vehicle of communication Media performs three roles –Provides information about candidates and political events (gatekeepers) –Spotlights issues they consider important –Performs watchdog/talent scout function Public duties versus private life Adversarial or Symbiotic Relationship? –More interdependent than antagonistic

11 The Rise of Adversarial Journalism Growth in commercial advertising “Yellow journalism” The relationship between the media and government has become increasingly adversarial over the last forty years. Vietnam and Watergate clearly demonstrate a change in the way the media covers government. Monica, Whitewater, War in Iraq. Believability – trust of the media

12 Tools of the Trade The individuals or groups who are subjects of a news story can manipulate the coverage by determining how or when the story is told. Leaks and Exclusives Public Announcements –Press conference, background/info briefing True issue research takes time and effort.

13 Factors Shaping the News Exactly what is news worthy –Has to be relevant, exciting, familiar, timely –Timeliness, proximity and conflict most important Values of Journalists –Liberals who vote democratic –Don’t trust politicians or government –Ideology or not covering “losers” Journalist Creed –Independence –Objective –Impartiality

14 Journalists Editors versus reporters Journalists can shape the news by changing the angle of the story selection of interviewees/witnesses, visual images, or the words used to tell the story. –Objective (fact) versus interpretive (opinion) reporting Ideological bias –61% liberal 89% Voted for Clinton –9% conservative 7% Voted for Bush –50% Democrats 4% Republicans Selection bias –Entertainment value –Sensationalism (positive versus negative articles)

15 Journalists Editors versus reporters Journalists can shape the news by changing the angle of the story selection of interviewees/witnesses, visual images, or the words used to tell the story. –Objective (fact) versus interpretive (opinion) reporting Ideological bias –61% liberal 89% Voted for Clinton –9% conservative 7% Voted for Bush –50% Democrats 4% Republicans Selection bias –Entertainment value –Sensationalism (positive versus negative articles)

16 11-4 Positive To Negative Stories/Ads

17 The Media and Protests Groups publicize issues through protests or demonstrations Violent reaction of southern police to civil rights activists Antiwar demonstrations in 1970s Abortion rights demonstrations Terrorism More educated groups more successful (WTO demonstrations in Seattle in 1999)

18 Nationalization of the News - Centralized Programming Associated Press Wire Service As a result, Americans are receiving the same news from the same perspective. The local perspective is disappearing. Exceptions in small news enclaves. –Ethnic papers and radio stations –Conservative religious networks –Internet newsgroups and chat rooms

19 Organization and Ownership Traditionally locally owned and operated Telecommunications Act of deregulated broadcast ownership +allow local competition for phone service Movement toward national ownership ABC is owned by Disney, NBC by General Electric, CBS by Viacom, FOX by News Corp. and CNN by AOL Time Warner

20 The Sources of Media Power Agenda setting: the power of the media to bring public attention to particular issues Framing: the power of the media to influence how events and issues are interpreted –Episodic or specific human interest –Thematic or issue/policy specific –1994/95 budget cuts example Importance of graphic visuals Nielsen ratings

21 21st Century News Media Cable versus Networks Commentary versus Reporting News (factual) versus Entertainment (argument and opinion) The survey says the news is- –inaccurate 65% of time –unprofessional 32% of time –described as immoral 38% of time.

22 11-6 Public Trust of Media

23 Media Power and Democracy The Free media are absolutely necessary for democracy. Media provide source of political knowledge necessary for popular participation. We depend on the media to serve as our watchdog. Decline in party power cause increase in media influence. Adversarial attitude produces cynicism and apathy in electorate.


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