The Media

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The Media

  1. 1. THE MEDIA AP Government - Mr. Cambou
  2. 2. WHO ARE THE MASS MEDIA? <ul><li>MAJOR MEDIA: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Newspapers: NY Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Television: CBS, ABC, NBC - decline of big three with rise of cable </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Magazines: Time, Newsweek, US News and World Report </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Trend towards mergers and consolidation = less competition </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. WHO ARE THE MASS MEDIA? <ul><li>NEW MEDIA </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Internet; CNN; FOX NEWS; MSNBC; MTV; Talk Radio </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Characteristics: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Interactive </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Focus on Entertainment - “infotainment” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Personalized </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Emotional </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Informal </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Opinionated </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Topical </li></ul></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Journalism In History <ul><li>Party controlled press - lack of sources that presented both sides </li></ul><ul><li>Popular Press - New technology made mass publication possible; journalists could not afford to be strictly partisan - need to attract as many readers as possible; growth in sensationalism </li></ul><ul><li>Magazines of Opinion </li></ul><ul><li>Electronic Journalism - no more editorial filters </li></ul><ul><li>The Internet - don’t believe everything you see! </li></ul>
  5. 5. EFFECTS OF MEDIA on POLITICS <ul><li>National Media Roles </li></ul><ul><li>Gatekeeper (what becomes news - set the national agenda ) </li></ul><ul><li>Scorekeeper (decides the winners and losers - emphasis on horse race element of elections ) </li></ul><ul><li>Watchdog (scrutinize the winners) </li></ul>
  6. 6. Nature of Media Influence <ul><li>Most influential at agenda setting </li></ul><ul><li>Provide forum for building up candidate images </li></ul><ul><li>Politicians can get public attention (McCarthy) </li></ul><ul><li>Links the government to the people (replaced parties) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>People - Media - Government </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Media consultants shape campaigns </li></ul>
  7. 7. Nature of Media Influence <ul><li>White House manipulates the media: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Photo ops </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sound Bites </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Spin Control </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Staged Events </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Negative Coverage of Congress (obstructionist) </li></ul><ul><li>Little coverage of Supreme court </li></ul><ul><li>Influence primary elections and undecided voters </li></ul>
  8. 8. RULES GOVERNING MEDIA <ul><li>Radio and TV require licenses </li></ul><ul><li>Print media must avoid libelous, obscene or incitement material: These are difficult to prosecute </li></ul><ul><li>Case by case examination on the right to keep sources confidential (Robert Novak’s revelation of CIA operative identity) </li></ul><ul><li>Broadcasts - regulated by government </li></ul>
  9. 9. RULES GOVERNING MEDIA <ul><li>Equal Time rule for campaigns </li></ul><ul><li>Right-of-Reply </li></ul><ul><li>Editorializing on broadcasts - opposing candidate may reply </li></ul><ul><li>Fairness Doctrine no longer enforced, but still practiced. </li></ul>
  10. 10. THE MEDIA AND PUBLIC OPINION <ul><li>Does the Media influence Public Opinion? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mixed evidence implies both… </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. THE MEDIA AND PUBLIC OPINION <ul><li>YES, the media influences opinion: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Personalizes candidates </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Stresses short term elements of election </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Consumers of media influence others </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sets national agenda </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Advocacy or adversarial journalism: “Comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Journalists are more liberal than the public </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Primary link between public and government </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Trivialize the news: People today are less informed </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. THE MEDIA AND PUBLIC OPINION <ul><li>NO, the media does not influence opinion: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mass public pays little attention and forgets what it sees and reads </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Selective attention: many see what they want to see and focus on sources they already agree with </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Selective perception: perceive the news in the way they want to view it </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Media are only one source: Political Socialization suggests importance of family, school, and peers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>People consume media for reasons other than information </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Impact of Newspapers <ul><li>Typical perception of liberal bias (but newspapers generally endorse Republican candidates) </li></ul><ul><li>Both liberals and conservatives complain: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Conservatives complain reporters are too liberal and hostile towards mid. Class values </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Liberals complain publishers are too conservative </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Lack competition </li></ul><ul><li>Devote prez campaign coverage to day-to-day campaigning </li></ul>
  14. 14. Impact of TV <ul><li>Most get their news from TV = decline of substance in coverage and rise of images and slogans </li></ul><ul><li>Fear that TV is too closely allied w/ Big Gov.: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Prez. Can bypass journalists and speak directly to the people </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Decline in press conferences (see chart) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>White House manipulate press </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Impact of TV <ul><li>Revolving door in journalism (govt. leaders become media figures - George Stephanopolous and Newt Gingrich) </li></ul><ul><li>Fear TV has increased cynicism and mistrust of govt. </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of competition (although cable helps) </li></ul><ul><li>Further decline of party </li></ul>
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