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  1. 1. Making the Choice<br />“Our politics, religion, news, athletics, education and commerce have been transformed into congenial adjuncts of show business, largely without protest or even much popular notice. The result is that we are a people on the verge of amusing ourselves to death.”<br />-Neil Postman<br />
  2. 2. Hard News vs. Soft News<br />Hard News<br /><ul><li>Focuses on facts
  3. 3. Who? What? Where? When? Why?</li></ul>Soft News<br /><ul><li>Sensational, personality oriented, less time-bound
  4. 4. Focuses on drama, human-interest themes, trivial stories
  5. 5. Emphasis on conflict, emotion, evocative visual imagery, interpersonal interaction
  6. 6. Disproportionate interest in celebrity, sports, lifestyle topics
  7. 7. Celebration of newscasters as marketable personalities</li></li></ul><li>Communication Revolutions<br />Printing Press (1830)<br /><ul><li>Rise of the Penny Press and Yellow Journalism</li></ul>Launch of the First US TV Satellite (1968)<br /><ul><li>Transmissionof stories is faster and more widespread</li></li></ul><li>Communication Revolutions<br />Portable Video Camera Technologies<br /><ul><li>Stories can be filmed remotely
  8. 8. Ability to cover breaking stories Live
  9. 9. Leads to competition among networks</li></ul>The Internet<br /><ul><li>Abundance of information and news sources
  10. 10. Audience as content producer
  11. 11. Popularity of citizen journalism</li></li></ul><li>Making the Choice: Theories<br />Uses and Gratifications<br /><ul><li>People have the desire to be entertained
  12. 12. People want to escape from stressful, depressing realities</li></ul>Agenda Setting<br /><ul><li>Use of celebrities to attract younger audiences that have lost interest in traditional journalism
  13. 13. Rise of Politainment – celebrity involvement in politics that capitalizes on popularity to affect voting decisions
  14. 14. Blurs the understanding of political reality</li></li></ul><li>Effects on the News Media<br />The media landscape is fragmented<br /><ul><li>The emergence of new types of media and technologies have created an overwhelming number of news sources for consumers</li></ul>The news media is polarized<br /><ul><li>The market-driven nature of the industry makes it easy for media organizations to capitalize on niche demographics</li></ul>As a result, it is easier for people to find the information they WANT instead of the information they NEED.<br />
  15. 15. Who is the Audience?<br />Characteristics of people who prefer soft news:<br /><ul><li>Inattentive
  16. 16. Not engaged with politics and therefore don’t seek information through hard news sources
  17. 17. Homogenous in beliefs with a lack of minority representation, which can lead to isolationism</li></li></ul><li>Effects of Choice<br />Soft News serves as an alternative that:<br /><ul><li>Reinforces existing beliefs
  18. 18. Simplifies information just enough to inform political attitudes and voting behavior
  19. 19. Encourages audiences to judge stories based on morals instead of factual analysis
  20. 20. Uses propaganda techniques to create a sense of urgency about issues
  21. 21. Creates an atmosphere of good vs. evil as a framework for thinking about issues</li></li></ul><li>Effects of Choice<br />Soft News makes the public more cynical<br /><ul><li>People believe that news has gotten worse, more sensational and more depressing
  22. 22. The rise of infotainment news shows focus more on entertainment than political strategy
  23. 23. People question the credibility of journalism</li></li></ul><li>But it may have some benefits<br /><ul><li>It connects politics with popular culture and gives the public a place within politics
  24. 24. It serves as a checks and balance system for an increasingly polarized news media
  25. 25. It diversifies the news audience by at least raising awareness of issues among the inattentive public</li></ul>Effects of Choice<br />