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Government and Mass Media
Transcript of Government and Mass Media
Government and Mass Media Part I
A Brief History of U.S. Media
1830: First Penny Paper
New York Sun
becomes country's first penny paper, garnering a wide audience It publishes until 1950.
In 1835, however, the
New York Herald
becomes the most widely read.
1846: First News Wire
A group of publishers start an organization to bring news from Europe. It will become the Associated Press (AP).
1895:Hearst Buys the New York Journal
William Randolph Hearst, who was named editor of the
San Francisco Examiner
by his father in 1887, buys the
New York Journal.
In 1904, he starts the
Los Angeles Examiner
By 1930, his holdings include 28 newspapers.
1898: Newspaper Play Role In Spanish-American War
New York Journal
blames Spain for a mysterious explosion that sank the USS Maine in Havana Harbor, Cuba. That helps push the United States into war with Spain. An example of Yellow Journalism and the growing power of the "media."
1690: First Newspaper
America's first newspaper,
Publick Occurrences, Both Foreign and Domestick
, is published in Boston.
It lasts for just one issue.
1791: First Amendment adopted
Congress shall make now law "abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press."
The Current State of Mass Media
First Amendment, 1791:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
“A popular government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy; or perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.” - James Madison
The ten-week long Spanish-American War, fought over control of Cuba, was caused at least partially by a circulation battle between Hearst's
and Joseph Pulitzer's
New York World.
Both wanted to sell more papers, but had few reliable ways for reporters to get accurate information. Pro-war, ant-Spanish interests compelled the papers to write sensationalist stories with limited basis in fact. (
This is just a summary of what was an complex situation
1941: FCC Grants License to 18 TV Stations
The FCC lets 18 television stations begin commercial broadcasting. CBS and NBC begin immediately. Hardly anybody watches. Station WCBW demonstrates the news potential with its bulletins on the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor
1960: Kennedy vs. Nixon Presidential debate
John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon meet in the first ever televised presidential debate. The Kennedy-Nixon debates not only influence the election, but usher in the modern era in which public image and media exposure become essential aspects of political campaigns.
reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein cover a burglary at the offices of the Democratic National Committee in Washington, D.C.'s Watergate Hotel. Their reporting eventually ties the events to advisers to President Richard Nixon and to his resignation in 1974.
1988:The Internet Opens to Commercial Use
Orginally developed by the Pentagon as a communication system in the late 1960s, what we now know as the Internet opens for the first time to commercial use in 1988.
First browser, Mosaic, launches in 1993.
In 1994, Yahoo begins.
In 1998, Google starts.
1920: First Radio Station
Pittsburgh-based radio station KDKA begins broadcasting regularly scheduled programs.
1934: Creation of the FCC
Expanding on the regulation that began with the Federal Radio Commission (FRC) in 1926, and replacing that organization, the U.S. Congress creates the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) with the Communications Act of 1934.
Layoffs hit Newspapers Hard
According to media industry watcher News Cycle, over 15,000 newspaper employees have lost their jobs in 2009. In the past decade, layoffs have hit every major newspaper and news agency, including the
Los Angeles Times
The New York Times.
Newspaper Contraction Continues
Ad dollars continue to shrink for local newspapers and TV stations, while ads on the Internet are increasing. Several newspapers end publication of their print versions in favor of developing online editions, including the
Rocky Mountain News
and the Seattle
. In 2012, The Syracuse Post-Standard announces plans to reduce print edition to 3-days a week.
1933: First Fireside Chat
Franklin D. Roosevelt held his first “Fireside Chat” on Sunday, March 12, 1933. He discussed the Banking Crisis. He would old thirty such evening radio addresses between 1933 and 1944.
During that Pearl Harbor telecast, Hubbell showed on maps the location of islands like Wake and Midway, and pointed out the
possible lines of attack
against the Philippines and Singapore. The viewer saw the positions, at least as they were known on that day, of Unite States Pacific Fleet units.
The program, through diagrams, arrows, and other symbols, defined news in terms of the visual.
Expert analysis, again with maps as visual aids, were offered by Major General Fielding Eliot and Fletcher Pratt, while Linton Wells reported the fast-breaking political developments
Television News Reporting
, McGraw-Hill, 1958.
Loaded with language meant to demonize enemy and build American civilian suport.
Takes 5 minutes before mention loss of life.
"Cost hundreds of military and civilian lives." In fact, 2000 died.
The New York Times
publishes Daniel Ellsberg's Pentagon Papers, a series of classified Vietnam War documents. President Richard Nixon gets a court injunction to stop publication of the document, but the U.S. Supreme Court finds the injunction is unconstitutional prior restraint.
1971: Pentagon Papers
1973: Australian Rupert Murdoch acquires his first American property, the San Antonio
1980: Ted Turner starts the Cable News Network (CNN).
1996: Rupert Murdoch starts Fox News Channel on cable TV. During the September 11, 2001 attacks, Fox News was the first news organization to run a news ticker.
1787-88: The Federalist Papers, a series of 85 essays, are written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay promoting the ratification of the United States Constitution. Seventy-seven were published serially in The Independent Journal and The New York Packet.
The Federalist Papers
Thomas Paine pens
a pamphlet meant to inspire the Thirteen Colonies to declare and fight for independence from Great Britain. It uses clear, simple language, It was published anonymously on January 10, 1776, at the beginning of the American Revolution and became an immediate sensation. Gen. Washington had it read to all his troops
1775-1776: Common Sense
2000: The $165 billion merger between AOL and Time Warner, approved by the FCC in January 2001, is the largest media merger in history. The new company will offer integrated communication, media and entertainment across all platforms -- computer, phone, television and handheld wireless devices.
More information than ever?
But do you trust media?
Print Newspapers and Newswires
TV News Sites
What counts as Mass Media today?
Huffington Post, Politico, Buzzfeed,
ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, PBS
New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times ...
Associated Press, AFP, Gannett
ABC owned by Disney
NBC Owned by General Electric
CBS Owned by Viacom
CNN Owned by Time-Warner
Major Newspapers are being streamlined into chains like happend to radio.
Gannett, Knight-Ridder, Newhouse control 80% of nations newspapers.
What you think about media
"Media is in a real transition" ... "rapid and continuous change" ..."confused"
"I think our media focuses on too many trivial things" ... "Media seems to be more for entertainment."
"Obsessed with what sells, rather than what's pertinent."... "Not affraid of boundaries they are breaking to make sales."
"Giving our government and its leaders a pass rather than holding them accountable."
"Definately Biased" ... "Americans pick one form of media and only use that to stay informed." ... "Misleading."
Theodore Roosevelt courted the press and the media like no other president had before. He initiated White House press conferences and also helped popularize the term Muck-Racker.
1901: Theodore Roosevelt
2006: Rich Media, Poor Democracy
2013: Social Media and Democracy
The Role of Media in Democracy
Democracy demands a "vibrant and healthy journalism."
A Free Media
Capable of Understanding History and Consequences
Capable of Sound Governance
Fair and honest
Journalism and Democracy
Informs public, serves as eyes and ears
Break into groups of five or six. Discuss and be prepared to share answers to these questions:
Do you think democracy can thrive without a vibrant and independent press?
Do we currently have a vibrant and independent press?
Why or Why not?
Can non-profits like the Center for Public Integrity replace the investigative resources of mass media?
Can social media and citizen journalists fill the investigative void?
Read Congressional Research Service, on canvas.
Focus on general exceptions, not specific case law.
Find, clip/print, and bring in one example of media serving as a watchdog.
Functions of Mass Media:
- Lasswell & Graber
Why media matters:
Supplies Reliable info public couldn't know
The Fourth Estate
- term used to describe the press as a critical institution within a society. Phrase attributed to Edmund Burke (1729 -1797), a British politician, as quoted in Thomas Carlyle's book, "Heros and Hero Worship in History" (1841):
“Burke said that there were three Estates in Parliament, but in the Reporters Gallery yonder, there sat a fourth Estate more important far than they all.”
Phrase has its history in the Estates of the Realm: the clergy, the nobility, and commoners. In American politics, other estates refer to branches of government.
Estates of the Realm
The Political Pro
How the press impacts government and politics:
Keeps public informed
Draws attention to issues and individuals
Helps set the agenda
Sheds light on corruption
"Publicity is justly commended as a remedy for social and industrial diseases. Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman."
- Justice Louis Brandeis
The State of Investigative Journalism
2010: Investigative Journalism
A History of Watchdog Journalism
Muckrake - to search out and publicly expose real or apparent misconduct of a prominent individual or business. (Often a pejorative term).
At the turn of the century, what appeared in print was more powerful than ever before. Collectively called muckrakers, a brave cadre of reporters exposed injustices in politics and industry.
In 1902, Lincoln Steffens published an article in McClure's magazine called "Tweed Days in St. Louis." Steffens exposed how city officials worked in league with big business to maintain power while corrupting the public treasury.
Upton Sinclair published The Jungle in 1905 to expose labor abuses in the meat packing industry.
Early 1900s and the Muckraking Movement
1954: McCarthy Hearings
Edward R. Murrow and Fred W. Friendly investigated the the conduct of Joseph McCarthy surrounding his anti-communism hearings for CBS.
1998: Clinton Lewinsky Scandal
News of the scandal first broke on the Drudge Report, which reported that
editors were sitting on a story by investigative reporter Michael Isikoff exposing the affair.
2007: Walter Reed Hostpital
On Feb 18, 2007, the Washington Post's Dana Priest and Anne Hull exposed deplorable conditions at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, which serviced outpatient Iraq War veterans. The story resulted in the resignation of Secretary of the Army, Francis J. Harvey.
1872: Julius Chambers
Julius Chambers of the
New York Tribune
had himself committed to the Bloomingdale Asylum in 1872, and his account led to the release of twelve patients who were not mentally ill, a reorganization of the staff and administration, and, eventually, to a change in the "lunacy laws."
1903: Standard Oil
In 1903, Ida Tarbell wrote a multi-part history of John D. Rockefeller and the Standard Oil Company for McClure's magazine.
1977: Ford Pinto
Mark Dowie and Carolyn Marshall's 1977
investigation of fatal dangers in the Ford Pinto automobile
Media, Social Media, and Political Action
2013: Citizen United and the FCC
2014 Scandal: The President Wears a Tan Suit
Free Speech and the Law:
How government limits and protects 1st Amendment
Current Media Issues Before FCC
Will free market create and foster the journalism democracy needs, or will it fall to public programming?
Should the FCC take a more activive role in cable/internet development to protect socially responsible media, or less active role?
Should political spending by corporations/unions be afforded the protections of "Free Speech" given individuals?
Is a mass media dominated by corporations and filled with demagoguery -- and unchecked by government -- the same as propaganda?
If free press is meant to protect democratic government, is it up to democratic government to
protect the honesty
of the press?
Bias in the Media
appeals to emotions of hate and fear without evidence, using bad words.
appeals to positive emotions without evidence, using good words (truth, freedom, hope).
relay authority/prestige from known to unfamiliar, often with symbols (cross, flag).
statements of prominent people.
winning confidence by appearing to be common people.
tell only part of the truth (quoting statistics out of context).
“Everybody’s doing it.”
Instilling fear of losing safety, security.
-- Institute of Propaganda Analysis, 1930s.
Techniques of Propaganda
Justice Scalia on Citizens United (2012)
Reason TV on Citizens United
The Citizens United ruling, released in January 2010, tossed out the corporate and union ban on making independent expenditures and financing electioneering communications. It gave corporations and unions the green light to spend unlimited sums on ads and other political tools, calling for the election or defeat of individual candidates -- as long as these efforts were not coordinated with candidates or parties.
The decision did not affect contributions. It is still illegal for companies and labor unions to give money directly to candidates for federal office. The court said that because these funds were not being spent in coordination with a campaign, they “do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption.”
Our government protects and limits media freedom with three primary entities: Federal and state legislatures, federal regulation (FCC), and the courts.
How our government exerts control
Federal Communications Commission
An independent agency overseen by Congress, the FCC regulates interstate and international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite and cable in the U.S. and its territories.
Congress controls spending.
President appoints FCC's five commissioners on revolving term basis.
Congress empowered the FCC with the Communications act of 1936, and refined those powers in 1996.
State legislatures dictate libel and slander laws, though the court precedence weighs heavily on these laws.
Through a tradition of common law, the U.S. courts have had a significant say in the protection and limitation of free speech and the media.
The courts not only rule on the interpretation of laws and regulations, but have also refined legal definitions of defamation, obscenity and the public good.
Stated goals of the FCC:
Promoting competition and investment in
for the "communications revolution."
•Encouraging the best use of
•Revising regulations so
defense of the communications infrastructure
One case of particular importance to government and media is
New York Times Co. v. Sullivan.
The Supreme Court held that proof of "actual malice" is required for an award of damages in an action for libel involving public figures or matters of public concern.
New York Times Co. v. Sullivan
Two ways to restrict speech: After the fact, and with "Prior Restraints." The courts have held that priot restraint are the most serious and the least tolerable infringement on First Amendment rights.
Other than by licensing, and some issues having to do with national security, prior restraint is rarely used.
Does media freedom go too far?
A Note on Speech Restrictions
Limitations on Speech
Regulations on Broadcast Media
Media rules and Politics
when the subject “appeals to the prurient interest." Prurient (adj): having or encouraging an excessive interest in sexual matters. You can own it though.
Unlike the rules for simple obscenity, private possession of child pornography "may be outlawed."
"advocacy of the use of force" is unprotected when it is "directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action."
Speech that "tends to incite an immediate breach of the peace" between individuals.
Threats of violence are generally unprotected. However, “hyperbole" in political speech is an exception. “The congressman has a target on his back.”
Speech owned by others:
intellectual property rights, i.e. copyrights or trademarks.
speech intended to sell products -- false advertising laws fall into this category.
False statements of fact*
: in 1974, the Supreme Court decided that there is "no constitutional value in false statements of fact". This is where libel and slander laws fall. However,
New York Times v. Sullivan
(1964) in essence removes protection for public figures.
Newspaper and Broadcast Station Cross-Ownership: FCC rules continue to prohibit common ownership of a daily newspaper and a "broadcast" station (AM, FM, or TV) if the station’s service encompasses paper’s city of publication.
National TV Ownership: No entity may own more than a TV broadcast station group that collectively reaches more than 39 percent of all U.S. TV households.
Dual TV Network Ownership: The rule effectively prohibits a merger between any two of these television networks: ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC.
Local TV Multiple Ownership: Allows ownership of two TV stations in the same DMA if at least one stations is not ranked among the top four stations.
Local Radio/TV Cross-Ownership: imposes ownership restrictions based on a sliding scale.
Local Radio Ownership: restrictions based on a sliding scale, varies by market: (1) in a market with 45 or more stations, an entity may own up to eight stations.
A Note on FCC Jurisdiciton
Due to its historic regulations of spectrum space, the FCC has exerted far more control of the "broadcast" networks than the cable ones.
Broadcast channels face many more regulations related to profanity, ownership and public service programming.
However, with Telecommunications Act of 1996 greatly expanded FCC power of cable and internet service. We are still grappling with just how much control.
In either case, the FCC exerts little control over content, once a license has been granted, with a few exception, including "candidate equal time."
There are a few regulations specifically meant for political candidates when it comes to broadcast media. The most famous being the notion of "equal time." If an outlet gives free airtime to a candidate, it must give equal time to the opposing candidate. When it comes to political advertising, this simply means equal opportunity.
Whether this rule applies to cable remains a grey area. But the notion of equal pricing for ads in the same timeslot is industry standard.
Should hate speech be free speech?
: Any statement, whether written or oral, that injures a third party's reputation. Four elements:
A false statement purporting to be fact concerning another person or entity.
Publication of that statement to a third person;
Intent or at least negligence.
And harm caused to subject of the statement.
: method of defamation expressed by print, writing, pictures, signs, effigies, or any communication embodied in physical form. Libel is a tort governed by State law.
false statement, usually made orally, which defames another person.
Should Politicians Private Lives be Public Foder?
In 1999, scientist Wen Ho Lee, was publicly named by U.S. Dept of Energy officials as a suspect in the theft of classified nuclear documents from Los Alamos. The story was leaked to the AP, The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post and CNN.
Lee was arrested, indicted on 59 counts, and jailed in solitary confinement for 9 months. Eventually, 58 counts were dropped. He was ultimately charged only with mishandling documents.
Lee sued and won a settlement from the government and the media outlets.
The Case of Wen Ho Lee
Does media have the right to seek information about private individuals?
Should Westboro baptist Church be protected in their protests of funerals?
For Tuesday, read Canvas article on media ownership, by Norton.
I will also post a one pager on "Newsworthiness."
And why it matters
Who do you trust more?
Media run by democratic government?
Media that emerges in a freemarket?
Which is least likely to engage in propaganda?
Do we still need taxpayer funded media, like PBS?
Newsroom: Realist vs. Idealist
Models of Ownership
Media owned outright by the government, democratic or otherwise.
Public fears that media entities will produce programming supportive and uncritical of the state.
Outright government ownership in U.S. is limited, but does exist.
American Forces Radio and TV Services -- Voice of America has 1,200 stations in 45 languages.
Local governments also increasing own broadcast outlets, usually akin to public access channels.
Media owned by many individuals and/or entities that compete for audiences.
Private, free media assumed to offer more diversity of ideas, and brings market forces to news dissemination.
Creates the business of news.
American system dominated by private ownership model.
Non-profit broadcasting stations or networks that rely on a combination of public funds and private charity, and have a "public service" mission.
Public Broadcasting Act of 1967 created our system of semi-public outlets.
Broadcasts tend to be educational, and audiences tend to be small.
BBC another example, with wider market control and appeal.
Its 2012 appropriation was $445.2 million.
$222.36M for direct grants to local public television stations;
$79.87M for television programming grants;
$69.18M for direct grants to local public radio stations;
$26.65M for PBS support;
$22.85M for grants for radio programming and national program production and acquisition;
$22.21M for CPB administrative costs;
$7.04M for the Radio Program Fund.
Corporation for Public Broadcasting
Who decides what's news?
Critics of media ownership concentration say it leads to lighter coverage and entertainment, and less coverage for the public good.
the Unusual, and
Firsts and Lasts
Conflict is a key ingredient in news
Close to the audience
New, or tied to current event
Issue trends in the news.
Read the two articles uploaded on Iraq war coverage.
Visit Real Clear Politics and declare which campaign you are going to follow closely.
How does a piece of news become biased?
Begins with editorial decision to cover or not cover an issue.
Report on issue favors one-sided argument.
Gives partial facts
Uses misleading headlines, and insinuates conclusions that may not be true. \
Types of media bias:
India vs. Pakistan
Corporate interest bias
Bias in Media
John Stewart vs. Fox News
Before world World War II, politicians who favored the United States staying out of the war accused the international media of a pro-Jewish bias.
During the civil rights movement in the 1960s, many opposed to reforms in the south accused national TV networks of anti-southern bias.
In November 1969, Vice President Spiro Agnew, then Vice President under Richard Nixon, made a landmark speech denouncing what he saw as media bias against the Vietnam War. He called those opposed to the war the "nattering nabobs of negativism."
President Lincoln accused newspapers in the border states of Confederate bias, and ordered many of them closed.
In the 19th century, many American newspapers made no pretense to lack of bias, openly advocating one or another political party. Larger cities often had competing newspapers supporting the different parties.
Still, news reporting was expected to be relatively neutral or at least factual. Editorials and editorial cartoons were expected to take a position.
Fox News Launcehed on October 7, 1996.
The O'Reilly Report aired its first episode then, and was later renamed The O'Reilly Factor.
Al Gore spokesman Mark Fabiani calls Fox "an avowed enemy of the Gore campaign," as told
The New York Times
2003: Olberman Goes Back to MSNBC
Olbermann's own show, Countdown, debuted on March 31, 2003. With success and experiments, the show eventually took a stronly leftward stance.
In 2007, Howard Kurtz stated that MSNBC's evening lineup "has clearly gravitated to the left in recent years and often seems to regard itself as the antithesis of Fox News."
Columbia School of Journalism founded by Joseph Pulitzer.
Begin to see the rise of professional journalism standards.
, founded to publish the “facts” other outlets overlooked.
In 1953 William F. Buckley Jr. advised publisher Henry Regnery: “I would recommend that you state that in your opinion an objective reading of the facts tends to make one conservative and Christian; that therefore your firm is both objective and partisan in behalf of these values.”
Conservatives’ suspicion of the FCC and the “Fairness Doctrine” deepened when the commission issued a public notice on July 26, 1963, stating the FCC “looks to substance rather than to label or form. It is immaterial whether a particular program is presented under the label of ‘Americanism,’ ‘anti-communism’ or ‘states’ rights.’”
1949: The Fairness Doctrine
The Fairness Doctrine was a policy of the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC), introduced in 1949, that required the holders of broadcast licenses to both present controversial issues of public importance and to do so in a manner that was, in the Commission's view, honest, equitable and balanced
1963: Conservatives and the Fairness Doctrine
What Does Bias Look Like?
Do you consider the "mainstream media" liberally biased?
Is opinion-based journalism inherently bad?
Are Fox and MSNBC doing something wrong, immoral, or destructive?
Is objective truth in news still a laudable goal? Is it even possible?
The Rebirth of Bias
Media and Political Socialization
What is political socialization?
Political socialization is the process by which an individual develops political views and values about governmental and political institutions, symbols and procedures through an ongoing interaction with outside influences.
Political Socialization Influence
Family is the first and most influential determinant of political values. Most adults adopt the political views of their parents -- but not all.
Starting at a young age, teachers and educational institutions can have a lasting impact on an individuals civic values. However, impact on political values may be negligible.
We are bombarded with political messages, not just in the news we watch, but in all aspects of entertainment media too -- on issues especially.
Same Sex Marriage:
Macklemore & Lewis
Friends, co-workers, organization members can have strong influence on political values, especially in the young adult years -- High School, college, early career.
This is not a simple as input/output. The individual processes these based on their own experiences.
Alex P. Keaton
Interactions through religious institutions can have a lasting impact on political beliefs and values.
Many churches combine traditional liberal and conservative values in teachings.
Where do you get your political beliefs?
Parents? Friends? Church?
What role has exposure to media played in your political views and your values?
Has your opinion changed on a major issue, institution, party, or elected official? Why?
Is political socialization a life-long process? Do you envision changing parties or ideology?
Related to family, but class, income, ethnicity can all work to impact political views. As income/class changes over time, so can associated values.
Does social media impact your views?
Or do you de-friend the overtly political?
Media Coverage of Major Institutions and Events
Changes in newsrooms, competition from other outlets, real-time feedback on readership, and the need to increase the bottom line continues to alter how the media cover governmental institutions and major events, like elections, war and domestic policy.
Changing Local Coverage
The War with Iraq
Where we misled on Iraq War?
Did media fail to do its "watchdog" job on Iraq?
CBS/New York Times Poll 2014