Political cartoons
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Political cartoons

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Ch. 8 lecture

Ch. 8 lecture

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Political cartoons Political cartoons Presentation Transcript

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