Media

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Media

  1. 1. Politics of the Media
  2. 2. What is meant by the Media? <ul><li>News organizations and journalists of either the print (newspapers, magazines), broadcast (TV, radio), or internet (websites, newsfeeds, blogs) </li></ul>
  3. 3. Pathways Past and Present: The Role of Profits <ul><li>Libertarian View </li></ul><ul><li>The media should show what they think the public wants, with no worry about consequences </li></ul><ul><li>Social Responsibility Theory </li></ul><ul><li>The media needs to balance what the public wants with what’s good for it </li></ul>Who should control the media? Two views
  4. 4. How Journalists Report the News <ul><li>Agenda Setting </li></ul><ul><li>The media’s ability to determine which issues will be covered, in what detail, and in what context--and conversely, to decide which stories are “not news” and thus will not be covered </li></ul>
  5. 5. Functions of the Media: Common-Carrier <ul><li>A link between the masses & government </li></ul><ul><li>Problem: Politicians will attempt to manipulate the media, push a positive image of themselves or an issue </li></ul><ul><li>“ Pseudo-Events” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Appear spontaneous, but are scripted for appeal </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Groundbreakings, school ceremonies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Teddy’s Bear </li></ul></ul>
  6. 9. Functions of the Media: Surveillance / Watchdog <ul><li>The media has a watchdog role as the “eyes and ears of the world” </li></ul><ul><li>Investigative reporting </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Muckraking” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Exposing societal ills such as corruption </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Upton Sinclair’s, The Jungle </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Watergate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Abu Ghraib </li></ul></ul>
  7. 10. Functions of the Media: Surveillance / Watchdog <ul><li>U.S often regarded to have freest media </li></ul><ul><li>Other countries: state-run news, or highly censored news, even in democracies </li></ul><ul><li>IRNA: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The national Police chief has verified confiscation of a number of squirrels, equipped with eavesdropping devices, on the Iraqi border. Reportedly, when asked about the confiscation of 14 spy squirrels, he stated, “I have heard about it, but I do not have precise information”. IRNA adds, “These squirrels were equipped by foreign intelligence services, but were captured two weeks ago by the Police”. </li></ul></ul>
  8. 11. News Agency of the Republic of Iran (IRNA) <ul><li>The national Police chief has verified confiscation of a number of squirrels, equipped with eavesdropping devices, on the Iraqi border. Reportedly, when asked about the confiscation of 14 spy squirrels, he stated, “I have heard about it, but I do not have precise information”. IRNA adds, “These squirrels were equipped by foreign intelligence services, but were captured two weeks ago by the Police”. </li></ul>
  9. 12. How Groups Use the Media: Media in Campaigns <ul><li>How does the media affect campaigns? </li></ul><ul><li>Determining “front-running candidates” </li></ul><ul><li>Charging for advertising </li></ul><ul><li>Televising debates </li></ul><ul><li>Portraying charismatic politicians as more “electable” </li></ul>
  10. 13. Mass Media <ul><li>“ For it seems more certain now than ever that the bloody experience of Vietnam is to end in a stalemate”-Walter Cronkite, February 1968 </li></ul><ul><li>“ That’s it. If I’ve lost Cronkite, I’ve lost middle America” -President Johnson </li></ul>
  11. 14. History of the Mass Media: Print Media <ul><li>First newspaper: Boston News-Letter , April 1704 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Avoided controversial issues </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Revolutionary War - newspapers abandon impartiality and work to build resistance to British policies; </li></ul><ul><li>Federalist Papers </li></ul><ul><li>1833, advent of the penny press </li></ul><ul><li>1837 – Telegraph invented </li></ul><ul><li>1848, creation of the Associated Press </li></ul><ul><li>Yellow journalism </li></ul><ul><li>Centralization of ownership of newspapers in early 20th century has continued to this day </li></ul><ul><li>Print newspapers are QUICKLY dying out </li></ul>
  12. 15. History of the Mass Media: Radio <ul><li>Radio Act of 1927 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Established the airwaves as a public good, subject to governmental oversight </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The Federal Communications Commission </li></ul><ul><ul><li>created in 1934 </li></ul></ul>
  13. 16. History of the Mass Media: Television <ul><li>Unlike newspapers and radio stations, high costs dictated that almost from the beginning, TV stations were affiliated with networks, thus centralizing ownership </li></ul><ul><li>Ratings /profit driven, particularly cable </li></ul><ul><li>24-hours news explodes during the 1990s </li></ul>
  14. 17. The Internet <ul><li>A revolution for politics </li></ul><ul><li>Broadcasting is essentially free </li></ul><ul><li>Not a large audience, but a gigantic potential audience </li></ul><ul><li>Direct channel between parties/candidates and citizens </li></ul>
  15. 18. Blogs <ul><li>Quickly making mainstream media less relevant </li></ul><ul><li>Authors usually have a particular bias </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Recognize this going in </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Act as a media and political watchdog </li></ul><ul><li>Investigative reporting is growing among bloggers </li></ul>
  16. 19. Media Bias <ul><li>The Media IS UNDENIABLY biased </li></ul><ul><ul><li>They do not randomly select what they cover </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>They choose when/where/how long to cover it </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What about liberal v. conservative? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Often unclear, even with specific news outlets </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Investigators carry own biases </li></ul></ul></ul>
  17. 20. Media Bias <ul><li>General Trends </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ethno-centric foreign affairs coverage </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dependent on official sources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Incumbents not challenged as often </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Negativity and Scandal given much greater attention </li></ul></ul>
  18. 21. Evaluating Press Freedom <ul><li>Reporters Without Borders </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Evaluation is survey-based </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>RSF Questions </li></ul></ul>
  19. 22. Reporters Without Borders <ul><li>Problems: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Does not account for country size </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>U.S. violations on par with Tonga in the mid-2000s </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>U.S. has many more “opportunities” to harass the media </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The ratio of reporters being harassed is far lower in the United States than in many countries that rank better </li></ul></ul>
  20. 23. Reporters Without Borders <ul><li>Selection Bias </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reporters do not randomly publish critical stories </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Journalists in repressive countries will avoid these, creating less of an opportunity to be harassed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tonga’s media practices “self-censorship” </li></ul></ul>
  21. 24. Other Issues <ul><li>Legal framework not addressed </li></ul><ul><li>Nature of the repressor is not distinguished </li></ul><ul><li>Nature of imprisonment or crime is now distinguished (wasn’t previously) </li></ul>
  22. 25. Solution <ul><li>Make a ratio based on population </li></ul><ul><ul><li>For example, jailed reporters per 1 million people </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>U.S. moves to top, Iceland drops to about 35 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Still problematic </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Democracies, in particular the U.S., have a higher percentage of people working in the media – will still have more repression opportunities </li></ul></ul>
  23. 26. U.S. Decline <ul><li>The Press Freedom Index can indicate a change in trends </li></ul><ul><ul><li>2002: 17 th </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2003: 31 st </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2004: 22 nd </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2005: 44 th </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2006: 53 rd </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2007: 48 th </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2008: 36 th </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2009: 20 th (“Obama Effect”) </li></ul></ul>
  24. 27. Concerns under Obama <ul><li>Campaign: papers that endorsed McCain are booted from Obama’s campaign plane </li></ul><ul><li>Audience “plant” (this isn’t new) </li></ul><ul><li>Press corps abandoned </li></ul><ul><li>Promised Information not made public (including bills, C-SPAN coverage of healthcare debate, Abu Ghraib photos) </li></ul><ul><li>Foxnews “boycott” </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of open press conferences </li></ul>
  25. 28. A Closing Note <ul><li>Stewart on Crossfire </li></ul>

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