Chapter 6 Powerpoint

Chapter 6
Chapter 6 Scenario #1:
Read page 171-172.
The increased usage of
the Internet has caused
some newspapers to go
out of business or to cut
What are the pros and
cons of finding your news
through the Internet? How
do you prefer to find the
The Future of the Media
 The
printed daily newspaper as we
know it in decline
 More and more people access news
and information via the Internet
 Important questions:
 Is democratic accountability threatened
by the loss of newspapers?
 Is web-based journalism democratizing?
People, Government, and
Mass communication transmits
information to large audiences
 Mass media do the communicating to the
audience. Two main types:
 Print media: Newspapers, magazines
 Broadcast media: radio, TV, Internet
Media has important role
 Information from government to citizens
 Information from citizens to government
The Development of Mass Media
in the United States
 Print and broadcast media primary
means to convey political messages
 Newspapers
 Radio
 Television
 Internet
 And sometimes, music and film
 Can you think of song examples that are political?
 How about movies/documentaries?
 First U.S. newspapers not really mass
media, but instead group media
 Number of newspapers published has
declined over time
 Dropped 55% since 1947
 Most cities and towns have only one
traditional daily newspaper
While the Internet
may be gaining in
popularity as a
source of news,
many Internet news
sites rely on
traditional media
sources for their
information. These
sites, such as
Google News, are
known as news
aggregators. If
newspapers fail,
news aggregators
will too.
Today, 70%
of all adults
report using
the Internet
at home or
at work.
Figure 6.2
Audiences of Selected Media Sources
Different media appeal to different
audiences, and what news people
learn depends on their sources.
The big story is the enormous
growth in the Internet news
audience. The print version of the
New York Times, for instance, has
a circulation of under 1 million
people. Yet an average of 12
million people visits the paper’s
website for news every month.
The major news magazines
(published weekly) tend to have
more readers than newspapers
do, but newspapers are published
daily and there are more of them.
Opinion magazines reach only a
small fraction of the usual
television news audience.
 More specialized news than daily
 Can influence attentive policy elites
 Leaders who follow news in specific policy areas
(union/industry leaders)
 Two-step flow of information then
influences mass opinion by informing
followers and pressuring government.
 However, circulation also has declined
 Regular radio broadcasting began as
local broadcasts in 1920
 Coast-to-coast broadcasts first heard in
 More than 13,000 licensed stations today
 Audiences continue to grow
 235 million Americans listen to radio every week
 News and talk radio popular
 Polarizing?
TV set
 First major broadcasts in 1940; color and
coast-to-coast broadcasts in 1951
 By 1960, 87% of U.S. households had TV
 In 2009, U.S. had over 1,300 commercial
and 300 public television stations
 Around 99 percent of homes have TV
 TV has biggest news audience after
Cable TV News
 Millions
look to cable networks for
news, which are more partisan.
 People interested in politics desire
partisan shows. Less interested in
politics avoid news altogether.
Television revolutionized
presidential politics by
allowing millions of voters to
look closely at the
candidates’ faces and judge
their personalities in the
process. This close-up of
John Kennedy during a
debate with Richard Nixon in
the 1960 campaign showed
Kennedy to good advantage.
In contrast, close-ups of
Nixon made him look as
though he needed a shave.
Kennedy won one of the
closest elections in history;
his good looks on television
may have made the
Many people learn about
politics by watching
comedians like Stephen
Colbert or Jon Stewart.
Almost 30% of adults
surveyed said they learned
about the 2008 political
campaign from comedy shows
like The Daily Show, The
Colbert Report, or Saturday
Night Live. Studies show that
watching The Daily Show can
improve people’s ability to
learn real facts about politics
and current affairs.
Obama-Romney 1st Debate SNL
The Internet
Began in 1969 as connection between
four universities (ARPANET)
 Later networks linked in 1983, creating
 Used mainly for e-mail among researchers
World Wide Web (WWW) created in 1991
by European physicists
 January 1993: 50 websites. Today: Over
100 million & 1 billion web users
 Over 70 percent of Americans use
The Internet
 Those
who mainly find news on
Internet say traditional media is
 12% of users blog: 35% of them blog
politics; 5% read political blogs
The Internet
 Majority of government agencies and
political organizations have websites
 Private citizens operate websites and
blogs on politics and public affairs
We the
 Rapid way to transmit information and
mobilize public opinion
 Major stories starting to originate on blogs;
many bloggers consider selves journalists
 - Blog directory
Compared With What?
Top 30 Nations in Internet
The U.S. does NOT have
the highest percentage of
the population with
Internet access.
We are actually ranked
Service in some countries
in Europe and Asia is both
cheaper and faster.
Private Ownership of the Media
In U.S., private ownership of media taken
for granted
 China has Internet police to prevent
“subversive content” – The Great Firewall
 In some countries, print media privately
owned but broadcast media run by
U.S. has only about 300 public TV stations
(out of 1500) and 400 public radio stations
(out of 10,000)
Private Ownership of the Media
This iconic image of a lone
pro-democracy protestor in
China’s Tiananmen Square
in 1989 is still unknown to
many people in China since
the image is officially
censored. On the 20th
anniversary of the protests in
2009, some in China were
able to see the image
through a Tank Man fan site
on Tank
Man’s identity, and what
happened to him after he
was whisked away by two
men, remain worldwide
The Consequences of
Private Ownership
 Private media ownership means more
political freedom, but also dependence on
advertising revenues and audience appeal
 When looking at overall coverage, media
functions more for entertainment than news
 Primary criteria for newsworthiness is
audience appeal
Balloon Boy hoax in
2009 attracted
worldwide attention
TV / News Facts
 Average
American spends 4 hours
watching TV every day
 Half of adults watch any kind of news
for 30 minutes or more.
 More than 60% of newspaper content
is advertising.
 Small portion of paper devoted to
Figure 6.3
Getting the News: Consider the
An analysis of roughly 70,000 news stories in 2008 shows that just three stories
dominated the news in all outlets: the presidential election, the economy, and foreign
affairs. Cable tv devoted itself to elections, while the other sources were more
extensive on foreign affairs. In the current media age, a few stories are amplified
and seem to drown out coverage of other events and topics.
Chapter 6 Scenario 2
 Read
page 184-185.
 What are your thoughts on how
“infotainment” (or “soft news”) is now
the norm on news shows? Are you
more likely to watch based on this
strategy? Are there concerns
regarding large companies owning
ABC, CBS, and NBC?
Market-Driven Journalism
Larger audiences earn higher advertising
 Outside agency determines market share
of shows for broadcast media
 So, news broadcasts and commercials
are targeted for viewing audiences, both
national and local
 Major news organizations like CBS, ABC,
and NBC are part of larger corporations
 Must make a profit
The Concentration of
Private Ownership
 Media owners increase profit by
increasing audiences or purchasing other
publications or stations
 Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation owns
Fox, the Wall Street Journal, and MySpace
 Some analysts concerned about control
of news by only a few owners
 Propose non-profit newspapers, similar to
Government Regulation of
 Although privately owned, mass media
regulated by government
 Broadcast media more regulated than
print media
 Technical regulations
 Ownership regulations
 Content regulations
Technical and
Ownership Regulations
Federal Radio Act (1927) first licensed radio
stations to impose order on frequency allocation
Federal Communications Act of 1934
established Federal Communications
Commission (FCC)
 An independent regulatory commission
 Today regulates radio, TV, telephone, telegraph,
cable, and satellite
 Telecommunications Act of 1996 eliminated many
rules and regulations
 Led to megamergers like AOL and Time Warner
Politics of Global Change
The World Wide Web depends on undersea fiber-optic cables that run along
the ocean floor.
Regulation of Content
The First Amendment prohibits Congress
from abridging freedom of the press
Federal courts have decided many cases
defining how far freedom of the press
extends in various areas
 Most news allowed, except for strategic
information during wartime
FCC initially designed to ensure radio and
TV served the public interest
 Fairness doctrine and equal opportunity rule
Regulation of Content
 Fairness doctrine repealed in 1987
 U.S. Court of Appeals struck down rules
regulating political endorsements and
personal attacks in broadcast media
 Print media not subject to restrictions
 Some advocate deregulation of
broadcast media
5 Functions of the Mass Media
for the Political System
 Reporting the news
 Interpreting the news
 Influencing citizens’ opinions
 Setting the agenda for government
 Socializing citizens about politics
News defined as important event that has happened in the past 24
hours. Who decides what news is important? The Media!
Reporting the News
News media reports on important political
events with journalists on location
 Washington, D.C. has largest press corps
of any city in world
 Media relationships with president
controlled by the Office of the Press
 Information “fed” to press and usually tries
to ensure favorable coverage by controlling
the environment
Reporting on Congress
Must be accredited to sit in press
 Most news comes from press releases
and congressional reports
 Sometimes have “leaks” of information
Live coverage of Congress and its
committees not common until House
allowed broadcasts in 1979
 Senate broadcasts started in 1986
 C-SPAN feeds to 90 percent of cable
systems across the country 2009 Alan Grayson on
Republican’s Health Care Plan
Interpreting and
Presenting the News
 Media
executives, news editors, and
reporters function as gatekeepers of
news flow and validity
 Personification makes news more
understandable – focusing on individuals
 Rise
of Internet has made more views
 More information available, but no
gatekeepers to check validity of content
Media Coverage of Elections
 Personification of political news
encourages horse race journalism
 Focusing on which candidate is ahead rather
than the issues – provides new material daily
 Most Americans want more coverage of issues
 Changing poll numbers and “media events”
considered more newsworthy
 Protests, fires, violence “show well”
Where the Public Gets Its News
Newspaper most important source until
1960s, then TV
 Today, 65 percent of Americans name TV
or cable news networks as primary news
 Newspapers 14 percent
 Internet 11 percent
Multiple sources used by many, including
late-night talk shows
Where People Get Their
 Older
Americans = watching, reading,
listening to news
 Women = morning tv shows, nightly
 Men = radio, online
 More and more online
What People Remember and
Although 80 percent of public access
news media each day, most retain little
 National survey in 2009 found respondents
could only answer five of 12 questions
about current events correctly
 Those who rely on TV retain less than
those who read print media
Some media researchers believe TV is
behind low level of citizen knowledge
about public affairs
Figure 6.5
Gagging on Late-Night TV
Polls show many Americans get political news from late night tv shows. This
graph shows the most frequent joke targets in 2008 on The Tonight Show, Late
Show with David Letterman, and Late Night With Conan O’Brien.
Influencing Public Opinion
 Difficult to measure extent of media’s
influence on public opinion
 Does the media create public opinion by
its reporting of events?
 Studies on specific areas, such as pretrial
coverage of serious criminal cases, show
significant influence
of statue
opinion on
Iraq War
 Full trials vs. plea bargaining
Setting the Political Agenda
 Most scholars see media’s greatest
influence in its ability to identify issues
needing government attention
 Media can force government to address
unpopular or unknown issues
 AIDS, global warming, child abuse
 Some issues, such as crime,
disproportionately covered
 Public also influences media coverage
Setting the Political Agenda
 Politicians eager to influence media
 Public opinion
 Opinions of attentive elites
 Presidents sometimes “go public” to
advance a political agenda
 Obama Health Care/Jobs Plan: pressure representatives to
support it. PASS THIS BILL!
Setting the Political Agenda
Obama at a town
hall meeting
“going public” on
his economic
stimulus package
in 2009.
It passed,
supporting the
belief going
public can work.
Socializing the Citizenry
 Young people politically socialized via
media’s entertainment function
 Today, messages about government very
different than in past
 24 – criminal justice lawbreakers
 Media has contradictory roles in process of
political socialization
 Patriotic, yet reporting on crooked politicians or criticizing
Evaluating the Media
in Government
 Some believe news filtered through
ideologies of media owners, editors, and
 Reporters tend to be liberal (32%) rather
than conservative (8%)
 Editors (gatekeepers) and owners more
 Talk radio dominated by conservatives
 Newspaper editorial stats pg. 201
Figure 6.6
Partisanship and the Credibility of the
Respondents were asked to rate
broadcast and print media
according to whether they
believe “all or most” or “nothing”
of what the organization says.
The table here lists the results
broken down by partisan
In general, more Republicans
are skeptical of the media than
Democrats are. Republicans
rate Fox News and Wall Street
Journal most highly, while
Democrats favor PBS
NewsHour, CNN, and NPR.
Evaluating the Media
in Government
 In general, incumbents receive more
news coverage than challengers
 Especially in less prominent offices
 2008: 66% Obama stories positive; 33%
McCain stories positive
 Media may also be biased in the way
news stories reported
Contributions to Democracy
 Most
political communications from
government to citizens through media
 News reporters tend to be critical of
politicians, serving watchdog function
 Media polls enable reporting of public
opinion on major issues
 Necessary for majoritarian model of
Effects on Freedom, Order,
and Equality
Media has played important role in
advancing equality
 Media coverage of civil rights movement
critical to its success
However, media resists government
efforts to use it to promote public order
 What is balance between free press and
national security?