Prentice Hall PoliticalScienceInteractive

The Media
What is meant by the Media?
 News organizations and journalists of either the print
(newspapers, magazines), broadcast (TV, radio), or internet
(websites, newsfeeds, blogs)
Views of the Media
 Libertarian View
 Social Responsibility Theory
 Agenda setting prevails
Media provide linkage
 A link between the masses & government
 “Pseudo-Events”
 Appear spontaneous, but are scripted for appeal
 Groundbreakings, school ceremonies
Media as a Watchdog
 The media has a watchdog role as the “eyes and ears of the
 Fact-Checking
 Investigative reporting
 “Muckraking”
 Exposing societal ills such as corruption
 Upton Sinclair’s, The Jungle
 Watergate
 Abu Ghraib
Media as a Watchdog
 Media are often controlled by the government
News Agency of the Republic of Iran (IRNA)
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”.
Media as a Watchdog
 Media are often controlled by the government
 What about the U.S.?
The Media in campaigns
 Determining “front-running candidates”
 Charging for advertising
 Televising debates
 Portraying charismatic politicians as more “electable”
Mass Media
 “For it seems more certain now
than ever that the bloody
experience of Vietnam is to end
in a stalemate”-Walter Cronkite,
February 1968
 “That’s it. If I’ve lost Cronkite,
I’ve lost middle America” President Johnson
Brief history of print media
First newspaper: Boston NewsLetter, April 1704
1837 –Telegraph invented
1848, creation of the Associated
Revolutionary War
Federalist Papers
Yellow journalism
1833, advent of the penny press
Centralization of ownership of
newspapers in early 20th
century has continued
Print newspapers are QUICKLY
dying out
History of the Mass Media:
 Radio Act of 1927
 Established the airwaves as a public
good, subject to governmental
 The Federal Communications
Commission (1934)
 Fairness Doctrine (1940s)
History of the Mass Media: Television
 Unlike newspapers and radio stations, high costs dictated that
almost from the beginning, TV stations were affiliated with
networks, thus centralizing ownership
 Ratings /profit driven, particularly cable
 24-hours news explodes during the 1990s
The Internet
 A revolution for politics
 Broadcasting is essentially free
 Not a large audience, but a gigantic potential audience
 Direct channel between parties/candidates and citizens
Media Bias
 The Media IS UNDENIABLY biased
 They do not randomly select what they cover
 They choose when/where/how long to cover it
 What about liberal v. conservative?
 Often unclear, even with specific news outlets
 Investigators carry own biases
Media Bias
 General Trends
 Ethno-centric foreign affairs coverage
 Dependent on official sources
 Incumbents not challenged as often
 Negativity and Scandal given much greater attention
A Closing Note
 Stewart on Crossfire
Chapters covered on the Exam
 Federalism
 Public Opinion/Interest
 Elections
 Parties
 Interest Groups
 Media