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Chapter 6. The Future of the Media  The printed daily newspaper as we know it in decline  More and more people access news and information via the Internet.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 6. The Future of the Media  The printed daily newspaper as we know it in decline  More and more people access news and information via the Internet."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 6

2 The Future of the Media  The printed daily newspaper as we know it in decline  More and more people access news and information via the Internet  Important questions:  Is democratic accountability threatened by the loss of newspapers?  Is web-based journalism democratizing?

3 People, Government, and Communications  Mass communication transmits information to large audiences  Mass media do the communicating  Print media  Broadcast media  Media has important role  Information from government to citizens  Information from citizens to government

4 The Development of Mass Media in the United States  Print and broadcast media primary means to convey political messages  Newspapers  Radio  Television  Internet  And sometimes, music and film

5 Newspapers  First U.S. newspapers not really mass media  Number of newspapers published has declined over time  Most cities and towns have only one traditional daily newspaper

6 Figure 6.2 Audiences of Selected Media Sources

7 Magazines  More specialized news than daily newspapers  Can influence attentive policy elites  Two-step flow of information then influences mass opinion  However, circulation also has declined

8 Radio  Regular radio broadcasting began as local broadcasts in 1920  Coast-to-coast broadcasts first heard in 1937  More than 13,000 licensed stations today  Audiences continue to grow  News and talk radio popular

9 Television  First major broadcasts in 1940; color and coast-to-coast broadcasts in 1951  In 2009, U.S. had over 1,300 commercial and 300 public television stations  Around 99 percent of homes have TV  TV has biggest news audience after Internet

10 Television

11 The Internet  Began in 1969 as connection between four universities (ARPANET)  Later networks linked in 1983, creating Internet  Used mainly for among researchers  World Wide Web (WWW) created in 1991 by European physicists  Over 70 percent of Americans use Internet

12 The Internet  Majority of government agencies and political organizations have websites  Private citizens operate websites and blogs on politics and public affairs  Rapid way to transmit information and mobilize public opinion  Major stories starting to originate on blogs; many authors consider selves journalists

13 Compared With What?

14 Private Ownership of the Media  In U.S., private ownership of media taken for granted  China has Internet police to prevent “subversive content”  In some countries, print media privately owned but broadcast media run by government  U.S. has about 300 public TV stations and 400 public radio stations

15 The Consequences of Private Ownership  Private media ownership means more political freedom, but also dependence on advertising revenues  When looking at overall coverage, media functions more for entertainment than news  Criteria for newsworthiness is audience appeal

16 Figure 6.3 Getting the News: Consider the Source

17 Market-Driven Journalism  Larger audiences earn higher advertising rates  Outside agency determines market share of shows for broadcast media  So, news broadcasts and commercials are targeted for viewing audiences, both national and local  Major news organizations like CBS, ABC, and NBC are part of larger corporations  Must make a profit

18 The Concentration of Private Ownership  Media owners increase profit by increasing audiences or purchasing other publications or stations  Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation owns Fox, the Wall Street Journal, and MySpace  Some analysts concerned about control of news by only a few owners  Propose non-profit newspapers

19 Government Regulation of Media  Although privately owned, mass media regulated by government  Different then State Sponsored Media  Broadcast media more regulated than print media  Technical regulations  Ownership regulations  Content regulations

20 Technical and Ownership Regulations  Federal Radio Act (1927) first licensed radio stations to impose order on frequency allocation process  Federal Communications Act of 1934 established Federal Communications Commission (FCC)  An independent regulatory commission  Today regulates radio, TV, telephone, telegraph, cable, and satellite  Telecommunications Act of 1996 eliminated many rules and regulations

21 21 Telecommunications Act of 1996  Deregulated Media in the US  Concentration of media into Media Conglomerates  Viacom, News Corp, Time Warner, Viacom, General Electric (NBC-Universal) & Disney  TV market ownership up to 35%  NBC, CBS, ABC & Fox  No limit on radio market ownership  Clear Channel  Independent Media has difficult time competing 21

22 Regulation of Content  The First Amendment prohibits Congress from abridging freedom of the press  Federal courts have decided many cases defining how far freedom of the press extends in various areas  Most news allowed, except for strategic information during wartime  FCC initially designed to ensure radio and TV served the public interest  Fairness doctrine and equal opportunity rule

23 Regulation of Content  Fairness doctrine repealed in 1987  U.S. Court of Appeals struck down rules regulating political endorsements and personal attacks in broadcast media  Print media not subject to restrictions  Some advocate deregulation of broadcast media

24 Functions of the Mass Media for the Political System  Reporting the news  Interpreting the news  Influencing citizens’ opinions  Setting the agenda for government action  Socializing citizens about politics

25 Reporting the News  News media reports on important political events with journalists on location  Washington, D.C. has largest press corps  Media relationships with president controlled by the Office of the Press Secretary  Opportunities include news conferences, press releases, “background information,” “off the record” comments, and “photo opportunities”

26 Reporting on Congress  Must be accredited to sit in press galleries  Most news comes from press releases and congressional reports  Sometimes have “leaks” of information  Live coverage of Congress and its committees not common until House allowed broadcasts in 1979  Senate broadcasts started in 1986  C-SPAN feeds to 90 percent of cable systems across the country

27 Interpreting and Presenting the News  Media executives, news editors, and reporters function as gatekeepers of news flow and validity  Personification makes news more understandable  Rise of Internet has made more views available  More information available, but no gatekeepers to check validity of content

28 Media Coverage of Elections  Personification of political news encourages horse race journalism  Most Americans want more coverage of issues  Changing poll numbers and “media events” considered more newsworthy

29 Where the Public Gets Its News  Newspaper most important source until 1960s, then TV  Today, 65 percent of Americans name TV or cable news networks as primary news source  Newspapers 14 percent  Internet 11 percent  Multiple sources used by many, including late-night talk shows

30 What People Remember and Know  Although 80 percent of public access news media each day, most retain little  National survey in 2009 found respondents could only answer five of 12 questions about current events correctly  Those who rely on TV retain less than those who read print media  Some media researchers believe TV is behind low level of citizen knowledge about public affairs  Television Hypothesis

31 Figure 6.5 Gagging on Late-Night TV

32 Influencing Public Opinion  Difficult to measure extent of media’s influence on public opinion  Does the media create public opinion by its reporting of events?  Studies on specific areas, such as pretrial coverage of serious criminal cases, show significant influence

33 Setting the Political Agenda  Most scholars see media’s greatest influence in its ability to identify issues needing government attention  Media can force government to address unpopular or unknown issues  Some issues, such as crime, disproportionately covered  Public also influences media coverage

34 Setting the Political Agenda  Politicians eager to influence media coverage  Public opinion  Opinions of attentive elites  Presidents sometimes “go public” to advance a political agenda

35 Setting the Political Agenda 37

36 Socializing the Citizenry  Young people politically socialized via media’s entertainment function  Media reinforces dominance of existing culture and order  Today, messages about government very different than in past  Media has contradictory roles in process of political socialization

37 Evaluating the Media in Government  Some believe news filtered through ideologies of media owners, editors, and reporters  Reporters tend to be liberal (32%) rather than conservative (8%)  Editors and owners more conservative - control content  Talk radio dominated by conservatives

38 Figure 6.6 Partisanship and the Credibility of the News

39 Evaluating the Media in Government  In general, incumbents receive more news coverage than challengers  Political bias in coverage depends on the party in power  Media may also be biased in the way news stories reported

40 Contributions to Democracy  Most political communications from government to citizens through media  News reporters tend to be critical of politicians, serving watchdog function  Media polls enable reporting of public opinion on major issues  Necessary for majoritarian model of government

41 Effects on Freedom, Order, and Equality  Media has played important role in advancing equality  Media coverage of civil rights movement critical to its success  However, media resists government efforts to use it to promote public order  What is balance between free press and national security? 43


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