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Political Parties, Interest Groups, and Mass Media Unit IIIC Mass Media.

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Presentation on theme: "Political Parties, Interest Groups, and Mass Media Unit IIIC Mass Media."— Presentation transcript:

1 Political Parties, Interest Groups, and Mass Media Unit IIIC Mass Media

2 n Includes all forms and aspects of communication to the general public n Considered the “fourth branch of government” given the importance and influence on the electorate, policy- making, politics, and the government

3 Mass Media Development Newspapers n Colonial and Early Republic Times –Small circulations –Expensive –Financed by politicians and interest groups n Modern Times –Telegraph and printing developments increased circulations on national levels by late 19th century –Yellow journalism –Limited press due to television and internet

4 Mass Media Development Magazines n Developed in mid-19th century with smaller circulation and limited publishing n Gained influence with muckraking articles during Progressive Era n After 1920s, national circulation –Time, Newsweek, U.S. News and World Report

5 Mass Media Development Radio n Developed in early 20th century n Primary source of news and event broadcasts for early and mid-20th century n FDR used radio for fireside chats n Lost influence with television

6 Mass Media Development Television n After WWII, television became primary source for news and event broadcasts n Helped glorify journalists n Claims largest mass media audience n Broadcast of McCarthy hearings, Nixon-Kennedy debates, and Vietnam coverage solidified television in political spectrum n Narrowcasting, cable news, and 24/7 news cycle in late 20th century –Talking heads

7 Mass Media Development Internet n Development in late 20th century and early 21st century n World Wide Web becoming growing source of news and information n Blogs n Subject to immense bias and limited factual credibility

8 Function of Mass Media n Provide information to the public n Influence and shape public opinion n Link the government and the public n Act as a watchdog of the government n Influence agenda setting

9 Role of National Press n Gatekeeper –Influencing or determining which issues receive attention or degree of attention –Part of agenda setting n Scorekeeper –Tracking candidates or issues showing their importance or significance over time –Ex. Polls on leading Republican presidential candidates n Watchdog –Investigating and exposing candidates and institutions –Ex. Watergate

10 Media and the President n The President receives the most attention by the media n Media Events n Press Secretary n Sources of Information –News/press releases –News briefings –News conferences –Leaks

11 Media and Congress n Limited coverage in relation to President n Coverage of confirmation hearings, oversight investigations, scandals n C-SPAN

12 Mass Media Jargon n Media event n Sound byte n Loaded language n On the record n Off the record n On background n On deep background n Trial balloon n Kill a leak

13 Regulation of Media n Technical –Licensing, signal strength, digital conversion n Structural –Organization and ownership of broadcast media outlets n Content –Limitations on coverage of subjects

14 Federal Communications Commission (FCC) n Federal Communications Act of 1934 established FCC as independent regulatory agency on interstate communication n Enforces technical, structural, and content regulations

15 Technical Regulation n Public owns the airwaves n Anything transmitted over the airwaves is subject to regulation n Radio and television broadcasters must obtain a license renewable every 5 years –Subject to hearing if a group objects/complains n Digital conversion –Digital Transition and Public Safety Act of 2005 –All over-the-air broadcasts must end analog transmissions and convert to digital

16 Structural Regulation n Media Consolidation –Before 1980s, media monopolies were strictly enforced and prohibited –A corporation could not monopolize an entire market n Telecommunications Act of 1996 –Deregulated limitations on corporations –Led to fewer but larger media conglomerates


18 Content Regulation n Political Campaigns –Fairness Doctrine F Mandated broadcast of opposing views F Dismissed by FCC in 1987 –Equal Time Rule F Media time must be equally granted, media costs must be equal, commercial ads must be the same during candidate air time –Right of Rebuttal F Candidates have the right to opportunity to respond to allegations made by an opposing candidate

19 Content Regulation n Public Decency –FCC imposes fines and may revoke licenses in violation of decency standards set by law –Obscenity prohibited –Profanity prohibited between 6AM and 10PM –Only enforced on over- the-air broadcasts; cable not subject 2004 Super Bowl XXXVIII Halftime Show

20 First Amendment n Prior Restraint –Government prohibited from censoring or refusing publication/broadcast –Near v. Minnesota (1931) –New York Times v. United States (1971) F Pentagon Papers n Libel –Malicious printed material is not protected n Slander –Malicious oral material is not protected

21 Media Bias n Coverage and reporting of issues and candidates slanted by “liberal” reporters and/or “conservative” media owners n Sensationalism over objectivity n Actual News Headlines vs. Fox News Headlines Actual News Headlines vs. Fox News Headlines

22 Media Bias

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