Media - Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use

Unit 3 Notes M
Mass Media
Form of communication that can reach large
audiences (**news media is media that
emphasizes just the news)
 Media is a link between the
government and people
Interviews and
Reports on government
Interview, poll results,
cover protests
What is news?
 What’s
going on at the time
 Interviews/facts/what others want you to
 Celebs, war, government, important
Horse Race journalism
 Media
focuses on polls and who is ahead
during campaigns rather than issues
Print Media
 Newspapers:
Most influential = Wallstreet
Journal, NY Times, Washington Pst
 Magazines: Most influential = Time, US
News and World Report and Newsweek
Broadcast Media
 1)
 2) TV – 3 major networks = ABC, NBC, and
CBS; cable (continuous coverage) = Fox,
 3) Internet – mostly people under 30
 and Huffington Post
Blogs, websites to connect with
Functions of Media
 Popular
 Take citizen’s minds off negative political
 Newspapers
have been a source of
information since the 1700s
 Radio and TV and increasingly internet
are most prominent formats now (and
give a different tone/perspective)
 CNN: liberal
 Fox: conservative
Public Forums
 Politicians
use the media to promote
 President has direct access to use the
media to set policy agenda (set of issues,
problems or subjects that are important
and addressed by policy makers)
How journalists and officials
 Press
release: official written statement
issues to journalists
 Press brief: restricted questioning of press
 Press conference: questioning of
government officials
 Leaks: when information is anonymously
released to press
Rules for journalists
 On
record: can quote
 Off record: can’t quote or print
 On background: can print, but can’t give
officials name
 On deep background: can print but can’t
tell source
No Libel or Slander!
 Libel
– written defamation of character
 Slander – spoken defamation of
 NY
Times v. Sullivan – only libel if it is
knowingly untrue or there is a reckless
disregard for truth
NY Times v. US
government can’t censor the press (1st
 Pentagon papers case
Media and the President
 President
can address the nation at any
time on all networks
 Speech, brief, conference, sound bite
 Press Secretary – link between president
and media
 Media focuses more on president than
Congress (one person vs. many,
campaigns and issues more high profile)
Media and Congress
 Cover:
hearings, oversight, investigations,
scandals, vote on bills, C-Span
 Who gets attention? Entire group, Speaker
of House, Minority and Majority Leaders,
Committee Chairs, Whips
 Receive less attention than the President
Media and SCOTUS
 TV
is not allowed in SCOTUS
 Written/audio transcripts released at end
of session
 Since Bush v. Gore (2000) some audio
recordings allowed on case by case basis
Effect of Media on politics
 Influential
in determining what information
people get
 Agenda setting = ability of media to
shape what is important and what make it
onto policy agenda
Adversarial Press
tendency of the media to be suspicious
of officials and eager to reveal
unflattering information
 Starts with Vietnam and Watergate
Roles played by the Media
 Scorekeeper:
keeps track of “horse race”
aspect of political campaigns
 Gatekeeper: decides who/what
becomes important  shapes policy
 Watchdog: investigative journalism 
watches and exposes details about
candidates and officials
 Media
events report on the same topics,
events, people
 Why? Less local news, more media
conglomerates and national news
Our Perceptions
 Selected
Perception: people perceive
what they want to from media messages
 Selected exposure: process in which
individuals screen out messages that do
not conform to their own beliefs
Media Bias
 Does
media favor certain point of view or
 Journalists are … mostly liberal (up to 90%
vote Democratic)
 Regulates
all media outlets
 Conflicts arise over regulation v. 1st
 Compromise = rating scale and delay in
live tv
 Regulates
merger of media outlets
Freedom of Information Act
federal agencies must make documents
available to public
 Exceptions: national security, internal
practices, personal files
 Expanded under Clinton to include
electronic files
 George W. Bush issues executive order to
restrict access to former presidential
Sunshine Laws
 Over
50 department meetings open to
 Government can’t conduct business in
 Gives media a chance to cover and
Fairness Doctrine
 Media
must present both sides
 Equal time rule – give candidates equal
 Dissolved in 1987 – media should be
objective on its own