2 The Media Old Media: books, essays, pamphlets, newspapers, magazines New Media: newspapers, television, radio, World Wide WebMost people’s knowledge of politics comes from the media, especially the InternetLaws and understandings in the U.S. give the media substantial freedomThere is a long tradition of private media ownership in U.S.
3 Journalism in American Political History (4 Stages) The Party Press:Various factions/parties created, sponsored, and controlled newspapers to further their interests.Circulated among political/social elitesExamples: National Gazette, National Intelligencer, Washington Globe
4 Journalism in American Political History (4 Stages) The Popular Press:Changes in society and technology made possible self-supporting, mass readership daily newspapersCreation of Associated Press (AP) in 1848 to transmit similar stories across the nationCreation of the Government Printing Office (GPO) in 1860Use of sensationalism in news stories-known as “yellow journalism”; made popular by William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer.
5 Journalism in American Political History (4 Stages) Magazines of Opinion:Dislike of “yellow journalism” led to era of reform led by “muckrakers” like Ida Tarbell, Lincoln Steffens, Upton Sinclair, etc.Various national magazines emerged to fulfill people’s interests.Examples: Atlantic Monthly, Harper’s Weekly, Cosmopolitan
6 Journalism in American Political History (4 Stages) Electronic Journalism:Radio arrives in 1920s, television in the late 1940sRepresented a change in how news was gathered and disseminatedPoliticians gradually realized the importance
7 Electronic Journalism and the Internet Shorter sound bites on the nightly news make it more difficult for candidates and officeholders to convey their messageseconds; secondsPoliticians now have more sources—cable, early-morning news, news magazine shows40% of American households access the InternetInternet is the ultimate free market in political news and many trust it for all information
8 Table 12.1: Decline in Viewership of the Television Networks (ABC, CBS, NBC are the “Big Three” Networks)Insert table 12.1 (formerly table 10.1 in 9e)
9 Figure 12.1: Percentage of Newspaper Readers Ages 18–34
10 Newspapers Number of daily newspapers has declined significantly Number of cities with multiple papers has declinedSubscription rates have fallen as most people get their news from television and/or the Internet
11 Role of the National Press Gatekeeper: influences what subjects become national political issues and for how longScorekeeper: tracks political reputations and candidatesWatchdog: investigates personalities and exposes scandalsSee pgs
12 Rules Governing the Media Ironically, the least competitive media-newspapers-are the least regulated while the most competitive media-radio and television-must have gov’t licensing and obey gov’t regulationsThe First Amendment has been interpreted to mean that no gov’t can place “prior restraint” or censorship on the press except under narrowly defined circumstances
13 Rules Governing the Media After publication, newspapers or magazines may be sued for libel, obscenity, and/or incitement to commit an illegal actThe Supreme Court allows the government to compel reporters to divulge information in court if it bears on a crimeRadio and television broadcasts are licensed and regulated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)Licenses are renewed every 7 years for radio and every 5 years for television
14 The Media and Campaigns Equal access for all candidates under the equal time ruleRates no higher than the cheapest commercial rateNow stations and networks can sponsor debates limited to major candidates
15 Landmark Cases The Rights of the Media Near v. Minnesota (1931)-freedom of press applies to state gov’ts, so that they cannot impose prior restraint on newspapers.New York Times v. Sullivan (1964)-public officials may not win a libel suit unless they can prove that the statement was made knowing it would be false or with reckless disregard of its truth.Miami Herald v. Tornillo (1974)-a newspaper cannot be required to give someone a right to reply to one of its stories.
16 Media Bias See pgs !Members of the national media are generally more liberal than the average citizenConservative media outlets have become more visible in recent yearsTalk radio is predominantly conservativeJournalistic philosophy is that the news should be neutral and objective
17 Influence on the Public Selective attention: people remember or believe only what they want toNewspapers that endorsed incumbents gave them more positive coverage, and voters had more positive feelings about themPress coverage affects policy issues that people think are important
18 Figure 12.2: Public Perception of Accuracy in the Media
19 Coverage of Government The president receives the most coverageGavel-to-gavel coverage of House proceedings since 1979 and Senate sessions since 1986 (C-SPAN)Senatorial use of televised committee hearings has turned the Senate into a presidential candidate incubator
20 The Adversarial PressAdversarial press since Vietnam, Watergate, Iran-contraCynicism created era of attack journalismAdversarial media has made negative campaign advertising more socially acceptable
21 SensationalismIntense competition among many media outlets means that each has a small share of the audienceSensationalism draws an audience and is cheaper than investigative reportingReporters may not be checking sources carefully because there is such competition for stories
22 Government Constraints on the Media Reporters must strike a balance between expressing critical views and maintaining sourcesGovernmental tools to fight back: numerous press officers, press releases, leaks, bypass the national press in favor of local media, presidential rewards and punishments