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  1. 1. The Media Michael P. Fix
  2. 2. History of the Mass Media
  3. 3. History of the Mass Media: Print Media <ul><li>First newspaper: Boston News-Letter , April 1704 </li></ul><ul><li>During Revolutionary War, newspapers abandon impartiality and work to build resistance to British policies </li></ul><ul><li>The party press </li></ul><ul><li>1833 advent of the penny 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>
  4. 4. 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>
  5. 5. 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>
  6. 6. The Internet Internet Access by Selected Characteristics: 2003 (in percentages
  7. 7. Where Americans Get Their News
  8. 8. Functions of the Mass Media
  9. 9. Functions of the Media: Entertainment <ul><li>Entertainment is the primary function of the media </li></ul>
  10. 10. Functions of the Media: Entertainment <ul><li>The distinction between entertainment and the news has become increasingly blurred </li></ul><ul><li>Murphy Brown and Vice-President Dan Qualye </li></ul>
  11. 11. Functions of the Media: News <ul><li>The media keeps the public informed as to the actions and policies of government agencies and officials </li></ul>
  12. 12. The Role of Profits <ul><li>Libertarian View </li></ul><ul><li>The media should show what they think the public wants, with no concern for the 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
  13. 13. Social Effects of the Media <ul><li>Three important societal functions of </li></ul><ul><li>the media </li></ul>Surveillance Interpretation Socialization
  14. 14. Functions of the Media: Surveillance <ul><li>The media has a watchdog role as the “eyes and ears of the world” </li></ul>
  15. 15. Functions of the Media: Interpretation <ul><li>The power to set the context, to frame the issue, to interpret the facts, and potentially to provide legitimacy for people, issues, or groups are powerful and controversial functions of the media </li></ul>
  16. 16. Functions of the Media: Socialization <ul><li>The media is an agent of socialization, teaching us political facts and opinions that help form our political belief-structures and our political culture </li></ul>
  17. 17. The Media and Politics: Reporting on Government
  18. 18. Controlling the News <ul><li>Officials want to control information about themselves and their policies, including the way such information is framed and presented by the media </li></ul>
  19. 19. Controlling the News <ul><li>One very popular tactic of politicians trying to get free press is to stage “pseudo-events” </li></ul>
  20. 20. Power of the Media Gatekeeping Deciding what stories will be on the public’s agenda and which will be sidelined. <ul><ul><li>Agenda Setting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Deciding what will be decided, defining the problems and issues to be addressed by decision makers </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. Covering the President <ul><li>Three general forms of communication from the White House: </li></ul><ul><li>Press Releases </li></ul><ul><li>News Briefings </li></ul><ul><li>News Conferences </li></ul>
  22. 22. Media Covering Congress and the Courts <ul><li>The Media gives far less attention to Congress than the president </li></ul><ul><li>Of all three branches of government, the courts tend to get the least amount of coverage </li></ul>
  23. 23. The Media and Politics: Campaigns
  24. 24. 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>
  25. 25. Government Regulation of the Media
  26. 26. National Security Concerns <ul><li>Sometimes the interest of the press and government are in conflict. </li></ul><ul><li>The press desires to print all newsworthy stories, and the government desires to preserve security. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>New York Times v. US (1971)‏ </li></ul></ul>
  27. 27. National Security Concerns Davis, Darren W., and Brian D. Silver. 2004. “ Civil Liberties vs. Security: Public Opinion in the Context of the Terrorist Attacks on America.” American Journal of Political Science , Vol. 48, No. 1. (Jan., 2004), pp. 28-46.
  28. 28. Censorship of the Media <ul><li>Broadcast media has fewer protections than print media, and can be fined by the FCC for violating certain standards </li></ul>From (left) and (right)‏
  29. 29. Media and the Right to Privacy <ul><li>Sometimes news coverage has the potential to infringe upon individual privacy rights </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rape victims </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Cox Broadcasting Corporation v. Cohn (1975)‏ </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Trials </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Public figures and private individuals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>New York Times v. Sullivan (1964) </li></ul></ul></ul>
  30. 30. Media and the Right to Privacy Hustler Magazine v. Falwell (1988)‏ Hustler (Nov, 1983). © 1983 Hustler Magazine, Inc.