Mass media & public opinion

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Mass media & public opinion

  1. 1. Mass Media & Public Opinion<br />
  2. 2. Influencing Public Opinion<br />Interest Groups<br />Public-Interest Groups<br />Lobbyists<br />Public opinion: ideas and attitudes a significant amount of Americans have about political issues<br />
  3. 3. Political Socialization<br />Political Socialization: Process of shaping one’s ideas and attitudes about government <br />Factors that Affect Political Views:<br />Family<br />Schools<br />Peers<br />Media<br />
  4. 4. Measuring Public Opinion<br />Politicians monitor public opinion:<br />Email<br />Letters<br />Talking to Constituents<br />Town hall meetings<br />Election results<br />Media<br />Polls<br />
  5. 5. Scientific Polling<br />Polls: ask voters for their opinions<br />Random sample: randomly chosen people up to a specified amount (usually 1500+)<br />Telephone interviews<br />Leading Questions vs. Scientific Questions<br />Margin of error: measures poll’s accuracy<br />Margin of error: 2%<br />
  6. 6. Mass Media<br />Most Americans get their news about government and political issues from:<br /><ul><li>Television
  7. 7. Newspapers
  8. 8. Radio
  9. 9. Magazines
  10. 10. Internet</li></li></ul><li>Media Influence on the Public Agenda<br />Public Agenda: societal problems that political leaders and the general public agree need government attention<br />Media set agenda by choosing what to show and what not to show<br />Bias: liberal, conservative, moderate<br />
  11. 11. Images affect attitudes<br />VS.<br />Case Study: (Vietnam War)<br />
  12. 12. Media Influence on Elections<br />Presidents use the media to promote their policies and programs<br />Media plays a role in who is elected<br />How television shapes elections:<br />Little-known candidates can make an impact<br />TV ads reach more people than print<br />TV networks put more resources into covering front-runners in primaries<br />
  13. 13. Images affect attitudes<br />Vice President Nixon vs. newcomer John Kennedy<br />1st time presidential debate was televised<br />TV viewers thought Kennedy won, but radio listeners thought Nixon won. <br />Case Study: (1960 Election)<br />
  14. 14. Media, Congress, & the Courts<br />Press Secretary<br />C-SPAN<br />Broadcast of state & local trials<br />Daily sessions for reporters at Federal trials<br />
  15. 15. Media Bias<br />Types of Bias:<br />Advertising bias, when stories are selected or slanted to please advertisers.<br />Corporate bias, when stories are selected or slanted to please corporate owners of media.<br />Mainstream bias, a tendency to report what everyone else is reporting, and to avoid stories that will offend anyone.<br />Sensationalism, bias in favor of the exceptional over the ordinary, giving the impression that rare events, such as airplane crashes, are more common than common events, such as automobile crashes.<br />
  16. 16. The Simpsons lampoons Fox News bias<br />
  17. 17. Watchdog Groups<br />Liberal <br />Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR)<br />Media Matters for America<br />Conservative<br />Accuracy In Media<br />Media Research Center<br />

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