Writing Prompts “The media's the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that's power. Because they control the minds of the masses.” • • • • Do you agree with the Malcolm X quote? What role should media play in politics? What role has the media played in politics? How does the media act as a linkage institution? Media and the Construction of Public Opinion Tom Emmer's Controversial Ad Media “Can’t Live With Them, Can’t Live Without Them” Roles of the Media • Linkage Institution – Basic job of the media: inform citizens of government activities – Connect views of people to government…how? • Gatekeeper – Role of the media in influencing what subjects become national policy issues – As gatekeeper, media is able to focus people’s attention on specific issues – Through this role, the media helps set policy agenda • Issues that attract serious attention of public officials and others actively involved in politics • Examples of Media shaping policy agenda? – Plays major role in shaping public opinion Media and the Construction of Public Opinion Roles of the Media • Scorekeeper – Track who is ahead in elections • Criticisms: Media tends to focus on the horserace aspects – Focus on the contest, sound bites, crowds at candidate rallies, NOT the issue/policy positions – Bandwagon effects • Watchdog – Closely scrutinize candidates backgrounds, activities the partake in, try to expose corruption/scandal – Investigative journalism: dig deep to uncover scandal/corruption in administration (Woodward & Watergate) Classic Media Speculation: John King News Media In The Past • Print Media • 1960 Presidential Debate – TV transforms politics • FDR & Fireside Chats News Media: 1960s • Walter Cronkite: Most trusted man in America – More complete coverage – Less editorializing • In 60s news coverage of executive changes with TV, Vietnam, & Watergate – More critical of Executive Branch Cronkite Talks about Vietnam News Media Today • Private Control of Media – 5 Media Conglomerates dominate • • • • • Time Warner Comcast News Corp Vivendi Universal Walt Disney – Less Competition • Fewer Perspectives News Media Today • How has media and the news changed today? – Sources (↑Internet/Social Networks; ↓newspaper) – What stories are reported, why? • Sensationalism—Retreat from the Issues…why? – Superficial Coverage – “Entertainment” • Money making endeavor – Sound-Bite Journalism • Sound-bites getting shorter and shorter Common at the White House Daily Show Looks at Media Coverage Daily Show Looks at Media Coverage Pt. 2 Daily Show Looks at Media Coverage Pt. 3 Sensationalism Montage News Media Today • Bias in the Media • Bias against ea. other b/c of competition. • Personal bias for or against things by anchors/reporters • Loaded Language • Source of Bias: • Narrowcasting: • Audience Appeal: Targeting Specific Demographics • Time & space constraints • Sources of info. • Print v. Broadcast Media •Is it possible for news media to be objective & independent of partisan politics? Media Coverage On the Campaign Trail & Inside the Branches of Government Media Campaign Coverage • Candidate-Centered Political Campaigns – Less focus on the issues • Media’s Role in Candidate-Centered Campaigns… – Sound-bite journalism – Media Events/Photo Ops – Focus on day-to-day activities • Rallies, Gaffes, Scandals, Negative Ads, Media Events – Horse-Race Journalism • Emphasize how candidates stand in polls rather than where they stand on the issues Campaigns and Media Events • THE PHOTO OP… Paul Ryan Photo Op Campaigns & Negative Ads • What role might Citizens United, Super PACs & 501(c)4s being playing in the increasing negativity of campaigns? • Disclose Act…Will this help? Post-Debate Ad Romney Negative Ad Big Bird Attack Ad Mourdock Attack Ad 47% Negative Ad Super PAC Ad Attack Ad: Flip Flop Big $ Fueling Negative Ads? Colbert Interviews Nancy Pelosi--Disclose Act Coverage of Branches • Sep of Powers: • Multiple Beats, competing for attention • Press is a weapon • Media Events • Exec = Easiest to cover…why? • 1 Person at Top…Figurehead of Government • President’s use of the Bully Pulpit and Media to “set the agenda” • Congress = Hardest to cover…why? • 535 Members • Who receives focus? • Judicial = Least Coverage…Why? • A growing desire to incr. coverage. Good or Bad? Politicians Use of the Media • Bully Pulpit – President’s most powerful tool in setting policy agenda – What president says is important…so automatically receives coverage • Trial Balloons – Information leaked to the media by a government official/politician or candidate – Goal: See what the political reaction will be when the public hears it. • Spin – A politicians attempt to present his actions or position on a policy in a positive light Media/Review Basketball • Each team will send one representative to the table. The 2 players will stand on either side of the table/desk with the ball/paper wad resting on the middle between them. The “Host” will read a question. The players will try to be the 1st to grab the ball from the table. The player that wins the jump, gets to try to answer the question. If they miss, the other player can try to answer. If the player gets the answer correct, they get to shoot the ball from one of the 3 designated areas for 1, 2, or 3 points, assuming a made shot. That concludes the round and the next 2 players approach the table/desk. • Every person on the team must attempt the jump ball before a player can take a 2nd turn. There is no coaching from the team (i.e. no yelling out answers to the player with the ball) • The team that scores the most points will earn 3 bonus points on the Unit Exam.