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Copy of Ch 7 - A.P Gov - Mr. Katz

Mass Media and the Public Agenda

James Leonard

on 8 April 2013

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Transcript of Copy of Ch 7 - A.P Gov - Mr. Katz

The Development
Media Politics In-depth reporting unearth scandals, scams & schemes putting reporters & politicians opposite each other.

Evidence suggests this type of journalism has contributed to the public’s cynical and negative views of politics. Daily newspaper gained large popularity in the mid-19th century.

Radio and TV have only been around since the first half of the 20th century. Chapter 7 Mass Media and the Political Agenda Introduction What is mass media? Popular means of communication that reaches a large audience…





Internet Evolution of Media: Shift to "High-Tech Politics" What is meant by "high-tech politics"? Shift by politicians and the electorate (voting body) towards tech based political activity. Mass Media Today #1 Goal of Politicians pertaining to mass media?

Control it!

G.O.T.V What are "media events"? Purposely staged (made to look spontaneous), used by politicians to gain public attention Examples…

Door to door handshaking
Being the average American"

Control what the media is reporting about you.
- Example: Ronald Reagan. Interesting facts! The news media wasn’t always so important... Virtually no daily press when the First Amendment was written during Washington’s presidency. As recently as Herbert Hoover’s (31st President) presidency that was from 1929-1933, reporters submitted their questions to the president in writing and he likewise responded in writing, if at all. Hoover is quoted as saying “The President of the United States will not stand and be questioned like a chicken thief by men whose names he does not even know.” Franklin D. Roosevelt (32nd President), Hoovers successor, practically invented media politics. First President to use radio, broadcasting a series of reassuring “fireside chats” to a depression-ridden nation. It is strongly believed that Roosevelt’s use of the radio helped him win his four consecutive terms as president. Story…

- 1944 - F.D.R out-media’s Thomas Dewey

To F.D.R media was an ally

Promised them 2 press conferences a week The new media norm: Investigative Journalism What is "investigative journalism"? The Print Media Print media refers to…


Magazines What is “yellow journalism”? “Penny Press”

Turn of the 20th century

Ushered in by Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst (newspaper magnates)

Sensationalized reporting of crimes, violence, wars, scandals, corruption, gossip, etc. (less than factual reporting many times) What is a muckraker? Reporters committed to bringing political corruption and unsavory business practices to the publics attention. NY Times v Sullivan (1964) NY Times publishes article claiming M.L.K arrest/charge of perjury in Alabama just an attempt to prevent his civil rights movement.

L.B Sullivan (city commissioner) in Alabama claimed the article personally/falsely accused him of such actions. (name never mentioned)

Sullivan sues NY Times…wins $500k (in Alabama Courts)

Alabama libel law DID NOT require Sullivan prove the article actually harmed him. NY Times sues back, claiming 1st amendment rights violated. (in SCOTUS)

NY Times wins…SCOTUS decides accusations against public officials (even if false) are protected.

UNLESS…there is “actual malice” – knowingly reporting false information to harm a public official. The DECLINE of Print Media Why? Newspaper circulation has been declining.

TV’s rise coincides and largely contributed to decline in newspaper subscriptions in the US.

Studies have shown newspaper readers are better informed and more likely to vote. Magazines are also struggling.

The internet age has contributed to this trend.

Political magazines in particular.

Newsweek, Times, U.S News, and World Report subscriptions are down considerably. All of these publications can be found online. The Broadcast Media Broadcast media refers to…




Brought Gov’t/Politics into peoples homes.

Before TV, politics avoidable… Made politicians more aware of appearance/mannerisms


1952 – Nixon (Checkers the Dog)

1960 – Nixon/Kennedy (1st Tv Pres. Debate) TV now #1 source of news in America

“Don’t believe everything you read…I’ll believe it when I see it.” Gov’t Regulation of Broadcast Media The Federal Communications Commission - FCC created in 1934 to “regulate the airwaves”

- Regulates communication via…





Satellite Prevent broadcast monopolies (licensing) Ways the FCC “regulates” Private Control of the Media Very few TV stations publicly owned today
What is Narrowcasting? aiming media messages at specific segments of the public defined by values, preferences, or demographic attributes

niche/target marketing In recent years major TV stations have been bought out by giant corporations.


- Disney bought ABC

- General Electric bought NBC

- Viacom bought CBS

- Time Warner bought CNN When giant corporations buy up major TV stations and other forms of entertainment, they form chains. Chains
- massive media conglomerates that control almost
three-quarters of the nation’s daily newspaper
circulation as well as broadcast media. (corporation of different companies in diverse fields) Cross-ownership
- occurs when a broadcast outlet and
newspaper are owned in the same market
by the same owner. Reporting The News Remember… News reporting is a business


$$$ defines what is newsworthy Finding the News... Beats (location where news frequently emmenates from)

A war zone
Capitol Hill
The White House What is a "trial balloon"? Information leaked to the media on purpose to see what the political reaction will be - Clinton/Monica Lewinski Distrust of Gov’t in the media

Vietnam (1955-1975)
Watergate (1972-1974) News today is very superficial

“Skimming off the cream, seizing on the most interesting, controversial, and unusual aspects of an issue.” In spite of technology and the fast delivery of news today…it has become less thorough. A portion of a speech aired for 15-30 seconds What is a "sound bite"? What is meant by the term "talking heads"? A shot of a person's face talking directly into the camera (boring) Above: Average length of time a presidential candidate was shown speaking uninterrupted on the evening news from 1968-2000. Bias In The News? ?????????? You Decide

For the sake of any potential Test Questions...

- No conclusive evidence
- Biased towards whatever will draw the
largest audience, not a particular ideology News presented in "point vs. counterpoint" format Examples…

Liberal v Conservative views
Democrat v Republican views
Rich v Poor views
Etc, etc, etc… Television news can affect what people think is important. The media influence the criteria by which the public evaluates political leaders.

- This is done by increasing public attention
to specific problems. Example…

Unemployment % goes up But job losses have slowed from previous levels
- Were losing 700k a month...now just 100k.

Policy Agenda

Linkage Institution

Policy Activists (what is this???) A.k.a “policy entrepreneurs”

Invest political “capital” in the news. (based on their public image/value)

Depend on media to get their message out Tools (of a policy entrepreneur)

Press releases

Press conferences

Letter writing

Convince reporters to tell their side of the story

Personal contacts

LEAKS Understanding The Media The Media and the Scope of Government The media acts as a watchdog and restricts politicians.

New gov’t proposals are met with skepticism - so that restricts what the government can do.
Individualism and the Media More candidate run campaigns due to technology…(tv, internet)

Less dependency on party establishment (D) & (R) Media more capable of focusing on individuals…

President – 1 person (way more coverage)

Congress – 535 individuals Statistics…

60% nightly news about President
37% about Congress
3% about SCOTUS Ralph Nader (G) Christine o'Donnell (TP) Joe Miller (TP) Sharron Angle (TP) Democracy and the Media “Information is the fuel of democracy.”

Widespread access to information is necessary for a successful democracy.

Many observers feel it falls short of its potential. Is the news more entertainment than information?
Is this what the people want? Things to consider... News today is both informative and entertaining, at the demand of the people.

More entertaining than informative. Need for big audiences, increased ad revenues.

- Blame capitalism.

- Blame the people. *KEY INFO* This case is all about "freedom of the press". 1.scare headlines in huge print, often of minor news

2.lavish use of pictures, or imaginary drawings

3.use of faked interviews, misleading headlines, pseudo-science, and a parade of false learning from so-called experts

4.emphasis on full-color Sunday supplements, usually with comic strips (which is now normal in the U.S.)

5.dramatic sympathy with the "underdog" against the system. Know your Yellow Journalism! (1905) (1965) "make available so far as possible, to all the people of the United States, without discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, or sex, rapid, efficient, Nation-wide, and world-wide wire and radio communication services with adequate facilities at reasonable charges." Communications Act of 1934 -Section 1 Ronald Reagan

7 principles to follow when interacting with the media…
Repeat the same message many times. Plan ahead.
Stay on the offensive.
Control the flow of information.
Limit reporters’ access to the President.
Talk about the issues you want to talk about.
Speak in one voice.
60% presidential campaign spending is TV ads
About 2/3rds of recent presidential election campaign ads were negative.
Many people feel the negativity is poisoning American politics.
This negativity/poisoning are believed by some to be contributing to the declining voter turnout.
Image making / news management is important, especially for presidents
Control how you look to the people and the media.
Conduct examination of goals/performance
- Give/Deny licenses based on criteria
Fairness Doctrine (est. 1949)
- Networks must provide opposing viewpoints
- Abolished in 1987
- Wonder why some news seems to target
specific audiences??? Media is a product

*Creates a media bias Most are privately owned

- Profit driven businesses…

- Totally dependent on advertising revenues
Some policies can be made more important, others will be less important, depending on their coverage. Focus on the good or the bad can impact how public demands policymakers react to a situation.
Characterized as reformist. (Not liberal/conservative) Many say that the press is bias against whoever holds office at the moment and wants to expose officeholders.
But, if the media identify a problem, they ask what the government is going to do to fix it. (Ironic)
Full transcript