Mass media - Fredericksburg City Public Schools

Chapter 11
• Mass media refers to the means for communicating
to these audiences, which are commonly divided into
two groups
– Print media communicates information through
the publication of words and pictures on paper.
Daily newspapers, and popular magazines are two
examples of this.
– Broadcast (electronic) media communicates
information electronically, through sounds and
images. Radio and television are examples of this.
Types of Mass Media
• Television
– Facts: 98% of households have TV's, and 80% of United States
residents get their political information from them.
– Pros: gets the message out quickly and to a large audience.
– Cons: most programming is still from the four major networks (Fox,
ABC, NBC, and CBS)
• Newspaper
– Facts: been around since the colonies, and have always been a form
of political discussion. Also almost all localities in the U.S. have one.
– Pros: more details than TV
– Cons: circulation is dropping, TV and web are taking over, no more
competition between papers.
• Radio
– Facts: 1940’s equivalent to television, and is still around today.
– Pros: can go almost anywhere and everywhere.
– Cons: most radio is music and entertainment now.
Types of Mass Media (continued)
• Internet
– Facts: on pace to be like television, an abundant amount of
– Pros: its quick, and gets the message to a large audience.
– Cons: the validity of some information is hard to verify, and
its culturally accessible.
• Magazine
– Facts: been here since the start and were originally were
for purely political issues.
– Pros: devoted to more details to certain stories
– Cons: devoted more details to hobbies, entertainment,
and lifestyles.
Characteristics of Mass Media
• Ownership-3 types
– State/government run
• China is the best example,
lots of censorship.
– Mixed Ownership
• Government controlled but
some private networks.
– Ex. European Nations
– Private Ownership
• Companies and
corporations/private individuals
own the media.
– Ex. United States
• Effects of Private Ownership
– More Freedom
– Make a Profit
– News and entertainment become
– News worthiness-determined by
audience appeal, the story or event
appears or is important to the
general public.
• Government regulation
– Some content regulation (limited by
1st amendment)
• Regulated by FCC
– Regulate airwaves by licensing
• NPR and PBS
Characteristics of Mass Media (continued)
• Bias
– Gate-keeping/filtering-selecting
what stories make the news.
• Done by editors and producers
• Profit influence
– Yellow
• Stories that might not be very
important but get your
• Gives rise to audiences desire
– Issue framing
• How issues are discussed can
effect the outcome/perception.
– Propaganda
• A message crafted to show
one side or only the
favorable side of an issue.
– Agenda-setting
• Media telling us what is
important and what is not.
Government Use of the Media
• Over time politicians have learned to use the media for their
• Types:
– Campaign coverage: mainly TV-focus on candidates not the issue.
– “Leaks”: information is given out to gage public opinion to raise
disagreement over policies.
– Photo ops/media events: free coverage, and speeches.
Media and Government/
Political Opinion
• Over time media has created various effects that influence
elections, legislation and public policy.
• Types (effects):
– Horse race journalism- campaigns and elections are reported on as a
race because they focus on who is “ahead”
– Yellow journalism/sensationalism- scandal, conspiracy, politicians
personal life.
– “Talking heads”- opinion leaders-people who viewers listen to or get
their perspective on news.
– 24-hour news-CNN-elections-daily coverage-legislation and
government-mundane details.
– Candidate focused coverage instead of issues.
– “Sound bites”- 45 seconds or less of a condensed story
– Institutional coverage- journalist are embedded in the three branches
of government