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Mass Media & Interest Groups (11.2&3)


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Overview of the roles of the Mass Media and Interest Groups in Politics

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Mass Media & Interest Groups (11.2&3)

  1. 1. MASS MEDIA & INTEREST GROUPS For use with sections 11.2 & 11.3
  2. 2. ROLES OF THE MEDIA 1. Coverage of Candidates  news coverage is free publicity  makes it easier to your views on issues known  makes it easier for voters to learn about the candidates
  3. 3. ROLES OF THE MEDIA 2. Public Opinion  influencing public opinion by making issues more apparent  media reports on and portrays how the public feels about issues (today this includes news media, but also YouTube, social media, bloggers, and podcasters)  gives politicians an idea of how the public feels on an issue when they react to a leak
  4. 4. ROLES OF THE MEDIA 3. Watchdog  reports on the wrong doings and corruption of politicians  helps the people know what government officials are up to therefore forcing them to be more honest
  5. 5. HOW DOES THE FIRST AMENDMENT PROTECT THE MEDIA FROM GOVERNMENT INTERFERENCE OF FREEDOM OF SPEECH?  The First Amendment protection of freedom of speech protects the media from prior restraint. This means that the government cannot censor material before it is published. This is sometimes called a “gag order.”
  6. 6. WHAT WAS THE CASE NEW YORK TIMES V. SULLIVAN ABOUT AND WHAT PRECEDENT DID IT SET?  The case New York Times v. Sullivan, a government official, sued the New York Times newspaper for libel (deliberately printing false information to harm one’s reputation). The Supreme Court ruled that in order to prove libel, the plaintiff must be able to prove malice (evil intent). In other words, there must be proof that the publisher knew what they were printing was false.  The precedent (or rule that has been held ever since this case) is that in order to win a lawsuit over libel, the plaintiff must be able to show evidence that the publisher knew what they were printing was false (malice)– this is not easy to prove
  7. 7. INTEREST GROUPS 1. Economic Interest Groups  some of the most powerful interest groups  represent types of businesses or workers Examples:  Chamber of Commerce – promotes free enterprise  Tobacco Institute – represents cigarette manufacturers  AFL-CIO (American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations) – alliance of labor unions  American Medical Association (AMA) – represents doctors
  8. 8. INTEREST GROUPS 2. Social Issues Interest Groups  organized to promote an ethnic group, age group, or gender Examples:  National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) – to improve the lives of African Americans  American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) – the interests of older Americans  Sierra Club – protecting nature  National Rifle Association (NRA) – interest of gun owners
  9. 9. INTEREST GROUPS 3. Public Interest Groups  work to benefit society as a whole through causes that will affect the lives of Americans in general Examples:  League of Women Voters – educates voters (not just women) about candidates and issues  American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) – works to protect the Constitutional rights and freedom of Americans
  10. 10. INTEREST GROUPS  Influencing Government Through… 1. Elections  interest groups will support candidates that share the same view(s) on their issue(s) 2. Going to Court  interest groups will sue in court individuals who engage in actions contrary to the groups ideas 3. Lobbying  interest groups hire people who go to government to meet with government officials and give information about their issue in an effort to have them vote on bills that are favorable to the interest group’s cause
  11. 11. WHAT CONCERNS DO CRITICS OF LOBBYING AND INTEREST GROUPS HAVE?  They are concerned that interest groups will have an exaggerated amount of influence over government because of the number of members and amount of money they can raise.