-Fewer newspapers than in many industrialized countries
-Only 7% of people read a national paper, but 44% read local papers
-Made news more up-to-the minute and personal
-Dramatically changed the way people received their news
-Has increased the importance of image
-51% of Americans watch local news; 39% watch cable news; 36% watch network news
-Revolutionizing the way we get our news
-20% report getting their political news from the Internet; this percentage is rising
-More interactive than other media
Most media owned by rich corporations
Mainstream media is generally afraid to challenge those in power (Iraq War)
“ Pundits” have become celebrities
Government and the Media-pressure from those in power (Valerie Plame story)
Media and public opinion-need for profits.
Who owns the media?
Commercial bias and monopolies
-Commercial bias: the tendency to make coverage and programming decisions based on what will attract a large audience and maximize profits
-Reduced emphasis on political news
-Infotainment: the effort to make the delivery of information more attractive by dressing it up as entertainment
-Conflicts of interest
Alternative media outlets
Are these sources reputable? Do they have standards of journalism?
Does it matter?
Where do you get your news and why?
Where do most Americans get their news?
Best sources—what are they and why?
Who are they?
What role do they play?
Muckrakers or Gatekeepers?
Gatekeepers: those journalists who decide what news gets covered and how
Disseminators: those journalists who confine their role to getting the facts of the story straight and moving the story out to the public quickly
Investigators: investigate government’s claims, analyze and interpret complex problems, discuss public policies
Public mobilizers: develop cultural and intellectual interests of the public, set the political agenda, let people express their views
Washington press corps
Pundits and celebrities journalists
“ equal time”
Attempting to be non-biased
Persuasion by professional communicators
What is reported?
Emphasis on image
Spin and allowing it
Tight control of information
Little access to politician
Elaborate communications bureaucracy
Bypass the White House press corps
Prepackaged sound bites
Strategic leaks/trial balloons
Question leaders….question authority
Who owns the media source?
Who is the journalist?
What is the news of the day? How is the news framed by different sources?
What real issues are involved? Is this being reported?
Who are the advertisers?
What is the media doing to get your attention?
Are there fluff stories?
What biases do you bring?
Are you reading things that you disagree with?
Horse race journalism
Generally, where do Americans get their news? Specifically, where do you get your news and why do you use that particular source?
Describe the historical development of the ownership of the American media and its implications for the political news we get.
What are the implications of media mergers on American politics? How do media mergers affect the way we get our news?
Explain and examine the link between the media and politics. What is the chief function of the media in American politics?
Discuss the relationship between the citizens and the media. Why do citizens need the media?
Who defines the news? What are the implications of these decisions?
Do you agree with the charge that the American press reduces complex and substantive issues to questions of personal images and contests between individuals? If that charge is true, what are the implications?