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Government Regulation and the Media

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1 Government Regulation and the Media
Theme B Chapter 12

2 Pop Quiz 12 Name an example of a hard news story this week.
Name an example of a soft news story this week. What 2-word term means that viewers choose what to watch and process? What does “prior restraint” mean? What does “off the record” mean? What government agency regulates the public airwaves?

3 Roles of the Media Gatekeeper - influence what subjects become national political issues, and for how long. EXAMPLES: The Ebola Scare Scorekeeper - help make political reputations, court the “Great Mentioner” & decide who winners & losers are in Washington. Often leads to coverage of presidential elections as horse races. EXAMPLES: Rand Paul Watchdog - Follow closely the front-runner candidates, searching for “skeletons” in closet. Maintains close eye on all major candidates. EXAMPLES: Hilary Clinton Out of Touch

4 Hard or Soft News? Define the difference.
Which news outlets cover more soft news? Examples from homework? Which news outlets cover more hard news? Examples from homework? Is there a slant to the coverage of hard news stories? Examples from homework? Liberal? Conservative?

5 Legal Constraints, Rules & Regulations
1st Amendment prevents prior restraint as determined by US Supreme Court Near v. MN (Incorporated protections from states) NY Times Co. v. US (Pentagon Papers Case) Libel is very difficult to prove and collect upon, especially for public officials. NY Times Co v. Sullivan Sharon v. Time The US DOJ can prosecute federal workers for leaking information to the press. Shield laws exist in 34 states (including NC) but there is no national protection Contempt of Court if not revealed

6 Legal Constraints, Rules & Regulations
The Federal Communications Commission is a regulatory agency. Do not regulate what is broadcast BUT: Fine stations who broadcast obscenity against FCC policy FCC v. Pacifica Foundation Can revoke license if violations continue FCC controls TV & radio with licensing, but has been largely deregulated due to competition Equal Time doctrine exists to a limited extent. Cannot give one candidate air time without offering to other candidates. Buying airtime is not the same! NE NC has no real “market” in which to run ads

7 Bias in Reporting Exercise
Read the two opinions about the torture report. For each piece answer the following: Who is writing the opinion editorial piece? What is their slant? Who is the hero according to each piece? Who is the villain? Cite specific examples of biased words to support the above responses. What facts of the story are the same? Different? Who’s “op ed.” do you support? Why?

8 Presidents & The Media Why is the coverage of the President so predominant? Court media One person—leader of the “free world” Press secretary handles media

9 Congress & the Media Hesitant in allowing coverage
Resent coverage of President C-SPAN & C-SPAN2 now offer gavel-to-gavel coverage Committee hearings sometime launch careers, especially in Senate

10 Why so many leaks? Separation of powers Federalism
Adversarial press corps Sensationalism sells

11 The Public View of Media
Negative attacks alienate viewers—tune out Believe press influences elections by biased coverage View media as big business—not to be trusted Has lead politicians to increase negative ads

12 Constraints on the Media
Alienate sources Become a “mouthpiece” Numerous congressional staffers—”A dime a dozen” Reliance on “canned stories” Bypass national media for state & local coverage

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