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Transcript

  • 1. Politics of the Media
  • 2. What is meant by the Media?
    • News organizations and journalists of either the print (newspapers, magazines), broadcast (TV, radio), or internet (websites, newsfeeds, blogs)
  • 3. Pathways Past and Present: The Role of Profits
    • Libertarian View
    • The media should show what they think the public wants, with no worry about consequences
    • Social Responsibility Theory
    • The media needs to balance what the public wants with what’s good for it
    Who should control the media? Two views
  • 4. How Journalists Report the News
    • Agenda Setting
    • The media’s ability to determine which issues will be covered, in what detail, and in what context--and conversely, to decide which stories are “not news” and thus will not be covered
  • 5. Functions of the Media: Common-Carrier
    • A link between the masses & government
    • Problem: Politicians will attempt to manipulate the media, push a positive image of themselves or an issue
    • “ Pseudo-Events”
      • Appear spontaneous, but are scripted for appeal
      • Groundbreakings, school ceremonies
      • Teddy’s Bear
  • 6.  
  • 7.  
  • 8.  
  • 9. Functions of the Media: Surveillance / Watchdog
    • The media has a watchdog role as the “eyes and ears of the world”
    • Investigative reporting
      • “ Muckraking”
        • Exposing societal ills such as corruption
      • Upton Sinclair’s, The Jungle
      • Watergate
      • Abu Ghraib
  • 10. Functions of the Media: Surveillance / Watchdog
    • U.S often regarded to have freest media
    • Other countries: state-run news, or highly censored news, even in democracies
    • IRNA:
      • The national Police chief has verified confiscation of a number of squirrels, equipped with eavesdropping devices, on the Iraqi border. Reportedly, when asked about the confiscation of 14 spy squirrels, he stated, “I have heard about it, but I do not have precise information”. IRNA adds, “These squirrels were equipped by foreign intelligence services, but were captured two weeks ago by the Police”.
  • 11. News Agency of the Republic of Iran (IRNA)
    • The national Police chief has verified confiscation of a number of squirrels, equipped with eavesdropping devices, on the Iraqi border. Reportedly, when asked about the confiscation of 14 spy squirrels, he stated, “I have heard about it, but I do not have precise information”. IRNA adds, “These squirrels were equipped by foreign intelligence services, but were captured two weeks ago by the Police”.
  • 12. How Groups Use the Media: Media in Campaigns
    • How does the media affect campaigns?
    • Determining “front-running candidates”
    • Charging for advertising
    • Televising debates
    • Portraying charismatic politicians as more “electable”
  • 13. Mass Media
    • “ For it seems more certain now than ever that the bloody experience of Vietnam is to end in a stalemate”-Walter Cronkite, February 1968
    • “ That’s it. If I’ve lost Cronkite, I’ve lost middle America” -President Johnson
  • 14. History of the Mass Media: Print Media
    • First newspaper: Boston News-Letter , April 1704
      • Avoided controversial issues
    • Revolutionary War - newspapers abandon impartiality and work to build resistance to British policies;
    • Federalist Papers
    • 1833, advent of the penny press
    • 1837 – Telegraph invented
    • 1848, creation of the Associated Press
    • Yellow journalism
    • Centralization of ownership of newspapers in early 20th century has continued to this day
    • Print newspapers are QUICKLY dying out
  • 15. History of the Mass Media: Radio
    • Radio Act of 1927
      • Established the airwaves as a public good, subject to governmental oversight
    • The Federal Communications Commission
      • created in 1934
  • 16. History of the Mass Media: Television
    • Unlike newspapers and radio stations, high costs dictated that almost from the beginning, TV stations were affiliated with networks, thus centralizing ownership
    • Ratings /profit driven, particularly cable
    • 24-hours news explodes during the 1990s
  • 17. The Internet
    • A revolution for politics
    • Broadcasting is essentially free
    • Not a large audience, but a gigantic potential audience
    • Direct channel between parties/candidates and citizens
  • 18. Blogs
    • Quickly making mainstream media less relevant
    • Authors usually have a particular bias
      • Recognize this going in
    • Act as a media and political watchdog
    • Investigative reporting is growing among bloggers
  • 19. Media Bias
    • The Media IS UNDENIABLY biased
      • They do not randomly select what they cover
      • They choose when/where/how long to cover it
    • What about liberal v. conservative?
      • Often unclear, even with specific news outlets
        • Investigators carry own biases
  • 20. Media Bias
    • General Trends
      • Ethno-centric foreign affairs coverage
      • Dependent on official sources
      • Incumbents not challenged as often
      • Negativity and Scandal given much greater attention
  • 21. Evaluating Press Freedom
    • Reporters Without Borders
      • Evaluation is survey-based
      • RSF Questions
  • 22. Reporters Without Borders
    • Problems:
      • Does not account for country size
      • U.S. violations on par with Tonga in the mid-2000s
      • U.S. has many more “opportunities” to harass the media
      • The ratio of reporters being harassed is far lower in the United States than in many countries that rank better
  • 23. Reporters Without Borders
    • Selection Bias
      • Reporters do not randomly publish critical stories
      • Journalists in repressive countries will avoid these, creating less of an opportunity to be harassed
      • Tonga’s media practices “self-censorship”
  • 24. Other Issues
    • Legal framework not addressed
    • Nature of the repressor is not distinguished
    • Nature of imprisonment or crime is now distinguished (wasn’t previously)
  • 25. Solution
    • Make a ratio based on population
      • For example, jailed reporters per 1 million people
      • U.S. moves to top, Iceland drops to about 35
    • Still problematic
      • Democracies, in particular the U.S., have a higher percentage of people working in the media – will still have more repression opportunities
  • 26. U.S. Decline
    • The Press Freedom Index can indicate a change in trends
      • 2002: 17 th
      • 2003: 31 st
      • 2004: 22 nd
      • 2005: 44 th
      • 2006: 53 rd
      • 2007: 48 th
      • 2008: 36 th
      • 2009: 20 th (“Obama Effect”)
  • 27. Concerns under Obama
    • Campaign: papers that endorsed McCain are booted from Obama’s campaign plane
    • Audience “plant” (this isn’t new)
    • Press corps abandoned
    • Promised Information not made public (including bills, C-SPAN coverage of healthcare debate, Abu Ghraib photos)
    • Foxnews “boycott”
    • Lack of open press conferences
  • 28. A Closing Note
    • Stewart on Crossfire

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