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How are MASS MEDIA &    opinions                 formed?PUBLIC OPINION   How are                 opinions                 ...
WHAT IS PUBLIC OPINION? Attitudes held by significant number of people on public  policy matters Why is public opinion i...
WHY DO WE BELIEVE WHAT WE BELIEVE?FamilySchoolMass MediaPeer GroupsOpinion LeadersHistoric Events
FAMILY- The foundations upon which political opinions are built start  with your parents- Adopt the political views of the...
SCHOOLS First break from familiar  influence Schools teach the values of the  American political system How? Do school...
MASS MEDIA Communication that reaches a large number of people Internet, T V, Radio, Magazines, Newspapers Has media be...
PEER GROUPS Influence of peer groups increases during adolescence Peer groups usually enforce what one already believes....
OPINION LEADERS Person with an unusually strong  influence on the views of others Public of ficials, members of media,  ...
HISTORIC EVENTSGreat Depression: A Case Study- 1929: economy collapses- 1938: near 20% unemployment- Events persuaded majo...
MEASURING PUBLIC OPINION – WHY?
Ways toMeasure PublicOpinion          Strengths   WeaknessesElectionsInterestGroupsThe MediaPersonalContacts
PUBLIC OPINION POLLS – WHO CARES?
PRE-GALLUP ERAStraw Polls Asking the same question to a large number  of people Online polls an example ( SportsNation -...
SCIENTIFIC POLLING Pioneered by George Gallup and Elmo Roper Top firms today: Gallup, Harris, Marist, various media outl...
DEFINING THE UNIVERSE Whose opinion do you want to measure? i.e.: Catholic voters, women over 35, likely voters etc.
CONSTRUCTING A SAMPLE Cannot speak to all members of a universe Sample: representative slice of the total universeRandom...
A FINAL WORD ON SAMPLES Respondents CANNOT be self -selected   What kind of polling does this eliminate? Respondents CA...
VALID QUESTIONS How a question is asked will  influence the results.Do you support lower taxes?Do you support more fundin...
INTERVIEWING Most pollsters do their work over the phone (random digit  dialing) Why? The way questions are asked can a...
WHAT POLLS CAN’T DO Intensity of opinions Stability of opinions Relevance of opinionsDo polls shape opinion, or reflect...
THE MASS MEDIATelevisionInternet Radio, Newspapers, Magazines, Books
THE MEDIA: THE FOURTH ESTATE Why is the media protected by the Constitution?
INFORMATION OVERLOAD Are we more informed than ever before?
BIAS & MEDIADoes the Media have a bias? Liberal, Conservative, “Status Quo”, Structuralhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qt...
NEWS VS. OPINIONS Has the line between news and commentary blurred?
MEDIA & POLITICSSetting the Public A genda NY T: “All the news that’s fit to print.” – says who? Media can influence wha...
MEDIA & POLITICSInfluencing Elections T V allows for a direct appeal Social Media allows for more interaction Visual me...
Mass media & public opinion3
Mass media & public opinion3
Mass media & public opinion3
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Mass media & public opinion3

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Mass media & public opinion3

  1. 1. How are MASS MEDIA & opinions formed?PUBLIC OPINION How are opinions measured? The Media
  2. 2. WHAT IS PUBLIC OPINION? Attitudes held by significant number of people on public policy matters Why is public opinion important in a democracy? Should politicians do what “the people” want?(West Wing – Lame Duck Congress)
  3. 3. WHY DO WE BELIEVE WHAT WE BELIEVE?FamilySchoolMass MediaPeer GroupsOpinion LeadersHistoric Events
  4. 4. FAMILY- The foundations upon which political opinions are built start with your parents- Adopt the political views of the primary caregiver- Political opinions also influenced by older siblings and other relatives.
  5. 5. SCHOOLS First break from familiar influence Schools teach the values of the American political system How? Do schools and teachers ever abuse this influence?
  6. 6. MASS MEDIA Communication that reaches a large number of people Internet, T V, Radio, Magazines, Newspapers Has media become an “Echo Chamber?”
  7. 7. PEER GROUPS Influence of peer groups increases during adolescence Peer groups usually enforce what one already believes. Why?
  8. 8. OPINION LEADERS Person with an unusually strong influence on the views of others Public of ficials, members of media, religious leaders Has the line between news and commentary blurred? Does the media reflect opinion, or shape it?
  9. 9. HISTORIC EVENTSGreat Depression: A Case Study- 1929: economy collapses- 1938: near 20% unemployment- Events persuaded majority of Americans to support a larger role for the governmentOther Examples- 1960s & 70s
  10. 10. MEASURING PUBLIC OPINION – WHY?
  11. 11. Ways toMeasure PublicOpinion Strengths WeaknessesElectionsInterestGroupsThe MediaPersonalContacts
  12. 12. PUBLIC OPINION POLLS – WHO CARES?
  13. 13. PRE-GALLUP ERAStraw Polls Asking the same question to a large number of people Online polls an example ( SportsNation -- http://espn.go.com/sportsnation /) Why is this unreliable? Literar y Digest Poll Predicted Alf Landon would defeat FDR Polled 2.3 million people – Why were the results faulty?
  14. 14. SCIENTIFIC POLLING Pioneered by George Gallup and Elmo Roper Top firms today: Gallup, Harris, Marist, various media outlets 5 Steps to ensure a scientific poll  Defining the Universe  Constructing a Sample  Preparing Valid Questions  Interviewing  Interpreting & Analyzing  Focus Groups  West Wing: 100,000 Airplanes
  15. 15. DEFINING THE UNIVERSE Whose opinion do you want to measure? i.e.: Catholic voters, women over 35, likely voters etc.
  16. 16. CONSTRUCTING A SAMPLE Cannot speak to all members of a universe Sample: representative slice of the total universeRandom Sample All members of a universe have an equal chance of being included (law of probability) Most polls seek 1 ,500 respondents for a margin of error of +/- 3% Would need 9,000 respondents to get to +/ - 1%
  17. 17. A FINAL WORD ON SAMPLES Respondents CANNOT be self -selected  What kind of polling does this eliminate? Respondents CANNOT be fundamentally dif ferent from the universe as a whole  Think Literary Digest poll
  18. 18. VALID QUESTIONS How a question is asked will influence the results.Do you support lower taxes?Do you support more fundingfor local police departments? Questions should not suggest answers or use “loaded words” Push polls West Wing: Lies, Damn Lies…
  19. 19. INTERVIEWING Most pollsters do their work over the phone (random digit dialing) Why? The way questions are asked can alter results.
  20. 20. WHAT POLLS CAN’T DO Intensity of opinions Stability of opinions Relevance of opinionsDo polls shape opinion, or reflect it? Bandwagon ef fect Cannot replace elections Cannot tell elected of ficials what to do Polls are snapshots, with a short shelf -life
  21. 21. THE MASS MEDIATelevisionInternet Radio, Newspapers, Magazines, Books
  22. 22. THE MEDIA: THE FOURTH ESTATE Why is the media protected by the Constitution?
  23. 23. INFORMATION OVERLOAD Are we more informed than ever before?
  24. 24. BIAS & MEDIADoes the Media have a bias? Liberal, Conservative, “Status Quo”, Structuralhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qtDJ6Ay4QMw
  25. 25. NEWS VS. OPINIONS Has the line between news and commentary blurred?
  26. 26. MEDIA & POLITICSSetting the Public A genda NY T: “All the news that’s fit to print.” – says who? Media can influence what people think about Has the explosion of the internet and cable news helped to correct this problem, or is it worse now than ever before?
  27. 27. MEDIA & POLITICSInfluencing Elections T V allows for a direct appeal Social Media allows for more interaction Visual media makes image more important than ever Media covers the “horserace” How to get your candidate on T V:  Interesting visuals  Short, pithy quotes (sound bites)

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