Political cartoons


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Ch. 8 lecture

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Political cartoons

  1. 1. THE MASS MEDIA Assessing Public Opinion
  2. 2. The Mass Media <ul><li>Medium: means of communication which transmit some kind of information </li></ul><ul><li>Media is simply the plural form of a “medium” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Described as “mirrors” or “molders” of opinion </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Four major mass media are involved in American politics </li></ul>
  3. 3. Television <ul><li>Mass media are not a part of government </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mass media do not exist primarily to influence government, yet they are an important force in politics </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Television replaced newspapers as the principle source of political information in the 1960s </li></ul>
  4. 4. Television <ul><li>There is at least one television set in 98% of the nation’s 120 million households </li></ul><ul><li>Three major networks dominate the air: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>American Broadcasting Company (ABC) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>National Broadcasting Company (NBC) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>As popular as these stations are, they are becoming overshadowed by independent broadcasting </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cable Television </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Newspaper <ul><li>Newspapers were one of the first means of spreading political news in the U.S. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>First regularly published newspaper in the U.S.- Boston News-Letter (c. 1704) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>By 1775 there were 37 newspapers circulating in the New England area </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Expressing the constitutional First Amendment right to “free press” </li></ul>
  6. 6. Newspaper <ul><li>Newspapers rank second to television as the public’s primary source of information about government and politics </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Number of newspaper providers and readers have declined since the 1980s </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>1920- Over 2,000 daily newspapers </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>1980- 1,745 daily newspapers </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>2000- 1,500 daily newspapers </li></ul></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Radio <ul><li>1920- one-third of American households owned a radio </li></ul><ul><li>By 1933, over 60% of American households listened to the radio in their homes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Radio had assumed much of the role in American society that television has today </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>FDR was the first major public figure to use radio effectively </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Fireside Chats </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/medialist.php?presid=32 </li></ul>
  8. 8. Radio <ul><li>Radio remains a major source of news and political information </li></ul><ul><li>Majority of radio programs offer listeners local perspectives </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Making radio an appealing medium for American citizens </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Most cities offer at least one radio station that broadcasts news all day </li></ul><ul><ul><li>NPR </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Magazines <ul><li>Magazines have offered an independent medium to Americans since the early 1700s </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1741- Benjamin Franklin began his General Magazine </li></ul></ul><ul><li>There are over 12,000 magazines published in the U.S. today </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Time, Newsweek, U.S. News & World Report </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Most circulated news magazines </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Magazines <ul><li>In one way or another, magazines relate to some point of public affairs </li></ul>Vs.
  11. 11. Public Agenda <ul><li>The public issues on which the people’s attention is focused </li></ul><ul><li>Framing: refers to the social construction of a social phenomenon by mass media sources or specific political or social movements or organizations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Selective process over an individual’s perception </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Public Opinion <ul><li>Immediate response to a policy/idea </li></ul><ul><li>Expectation is… our opinions should reflect our values, but our opinions are ever-changing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ domain specific”- voters look at current events as a basis for their opinions </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Political Cartoons <ul><li>Identify the public issue that these political cartoons are addressing </li></ul><ul><li>What are your opinions of this medium? </li></ul>
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