The Politics of the Media

Mass Media
How important are the media in American politics?
Mass Media
Media and Democracy
 Marketplace
of ideas
 Increase in political power with the decline of parties
 Influential
 The
average high school senior has spent more time
watching TV than attending school
 TV is the primary source of news in the U.S.
 Concerns
over objectivity
The Growth of Mass Media
How have the media changed and developed?
The Growth of Mass Media
Print Media
 Newspapers
 The
Federalist Papers
 Political leaders promoted newspapers
Postage reduction
 Party
 Penny press – more diverse in scope, used reporters, less
 Yellow Journalism
The Growth of Mass Media
Electronic Media
 Radio
 Radio
Act of 1927 regulated the industry
 Television
 Network,
cable, satellite
 Internet
 <3
 Technology
gap (aka – digital divide)
Concerns over RELIABLE information (no take-backs)
Functions of the Media
What functions do the media perform in our
Functions of Media
Social Effects
 “The
eyes and ears of the world”
 Surveillance
Investigative Reporting
 Interpretation
Putting events into context and explaining complexities
 Socialization
Political use of the Media
How influential are the media in interpreting and
framing news stories?
Political Use of the Media
How politicians make news
Earned media coverage
 Pseudo-events
How journalists report the news
Agenda setting
Determining what issues will be covered
 Gatekeepers
Covering the President
Press releases – prepared texts
 News briefings – questions allowed
 News conferences – direct access to the president
Political Use of the Media
 How
journalists report the news
 Covering
Give less attention to Congress than the President
Kind of complicated and can be dull
 Covering
the Courts
Gets the least amount of coverage
Judges rarely grant interviews (don’t want their impartiality
Supreme Court nominations are the exception – lots of media
The Media and the Public in Politics
How do the media shape and reflect our cultural
values and struggles?
The Media and the Public in Politics
Media in Campaigns
 Negative
 Paid advertising
 Sound
 Debates
Global Issues
 Targeting
specific audiences
Concentration of Ownership
Governmental Regulations
How can we negotiate the delicate balance
between the need for governmental regulation and
the desire for a vigorous and free press?
Governmental Regulations
The Right to Privacy
 Crime
Rules regarding content and ownership
 Libel
 Must
demonstrate “malice”
 Prior
 Equal time rule
 Same
time, same price
 Fairness
doctrine (1949-1985)
 Broader
than the equal time rule
Governmental Regulations
The Role of Profits
 Social
Responsibility Theory vs. Libertarian View
 Does
the media have a responsibility or obligation to
promote socially desirable behavior?
 Ratings
 News
must generate profits