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Mass Media Effects

Mass Media Effects

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Mass Media Effects

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  1. Mass Media Effects

  2. Hostile Media Effect: some feel that media coverage is biased against opinions on issues

  3. Research has shown that hostile media effect is not just differences of opinion but a difference of perception

  4. People seem to pay more attention to information that contradicts rather than supports their pre-existing views

  5. Media bias: non-uniform selection or coverage of news stories in media • Many Americans seek out biased news- to find confirmation for their preconceived opinions

  6. Newspapers used to reflect the opinions of the publisher • 1798: Congress passed the Alien and Sedition Acts: prohibited the publication of “false, scandalous, or malicious writing” against gov’t

  7. Made it a crime to voice any public opposition to any law or presidential act- act was in effect until 1801

  8. 1861: Lincoln ordered many newspapers closed when he felt border states were biased in favor of the Southern cause

  9. 19th century: American newspapers openly advocated one or another political party • Editorials and editorial cartoons- go against the publisher’s opponents

  10. Early 20th Century: Yellow journalism to increase sales • William Randolph Hearst- publisher of several major market newspapers- deliberately falsified stories, which may have contributed to Spanish-American War

  11. Leading up to WWII- politicians who favored U.S. entering the war on the German side accused the media of pro-Jewish bias, said that newspapers were controlled by the Jewish

  12. Hollywood was said to be full of Jewish bias- pro-German politicians in U.S. called for Charlie Chaplin’s film The Great Dictator to be banned- they said it insulted a respected leader

  13. 1960’s- Civil Rights Movement- some White Southerners stated that television was biased against White Southerners and in favor of mixing the races- Star Trek didn’t air on some Southern stations

  14. 1969: Spiro Agnew (VP for Nixon) said he saw the media as bias against the Vietnam War and called those who opposed the war to be “nattering nabobs of negativism”

  15. American Society of Newspaper Editors in 1997- survey said 61% of reporters stated they were members of or shared the beliefs of the Democratic Party • 15% said their beliefs were represented by the Republican Party

  16. 2002 study- Dartmouth College- 116 mainstream U.S. papers (The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle included) found that mainstream press in America tends to favor liberal viewpoints

  17. Reporters who expressed moderate or conservative points of view were often labeled as holding a minority point of view • Liberal bias about issues like race, welfare reform, environmental protection, and gun control

  18. Zogby International- survey results said that 83% of people surveyed believe there is a bias in the media, 64% said that the bias favors liberals, 28% of respondents believe the bias is conservative

  19. Patrick Buchanan- The American Conservative editorial- wrote the liberal media establishment’s reporting on the Watergate scandal “played a central role in bringing down the President.”

  20. Nixon: “I gave them a sword and they ran it right through me.”

  21. Books about Liberal Bias • John Stossel- Give Me a Break: How I Exposed Hucksters, Cheats, and Scam Artists and Became the Scourge of the Liberal Media

  22. Ann Coulter- Slander: Liberal Lies About the American Right • Brian C. Anderson- South Park Conservatives: The Revolt Against Liberal Media Bias

  23. Claims of Conservative Bias • Disney, CBS Corporation, New Corporation, TimeWarner, General Electric- corporate conglomerates own the majority of mass media outlets

  24. Media is operated for profit- through the sale of advertisements, which tends to drive news, commentary, and public affairs towards supporting industry

  25. Capitalist model creates competition for fair and quick news coverage and investigative reports

  26. Rupert Murdoch (CEO of News Corporation- parent of FOX News) • Richards Parsons- CEO of Time Warner • Both contribute to Republican candidates

  27. Fox News: “The roots of FOX News Channel’s day to day on air bias are actual and direct. They come in the form of an executive memo distributed electronically each morning, addressing what stories will be covered and, often, suggesting how they should be covered.”

  28. Books on Conservative Bias • Eric Alterman- What Liberal Media? The Truth About Bias and the News • Al Franken “Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them”

  29. Concerns about coverage of Iraq- saying that media had insufficient coverage of invasion and occupation, but some have also said that media has been unfair to US forces

  30. Did the U.S. media criticize the conduct of American soldiers? (some feel that media was worried about upsetting viewers and losing profits)

  31. Some though feel that media has been too critical of U.S. forces • Media has failed to send a message to support the U.S. forces

  32. Effects on Elections • Some feel that elections on centered on candidates, and the amount of funds, personality, and sound-bites instead of serious political discussion or policies offered by parties

  33. Americans are influenced by the way the media report- concentrated on short sound-bites, scandals, mistakes by candidates

  34. Reporting of elections avoids complex issues or issues which are time consuming to explain

  35. Doonesbury: comic strip, accused of liberal bias • A conservative letter writing campaign caused Doonesbury to disappear from 38 newspapers, but it was reinstated

  36. Violent Media Effects • Television • 61% of TV shows are violent • Violence is on the rise for both cable and broadcast networks • Few shows emphasize and anti-violence theme

  37. 40% of violent scenes on TV include humor • 54% of violence is lethal • 51% of TV violence shows no pain • Out of 9000 analyzed over 4 years- only 4% had an anti-violent theme

  38. Media violence can be one contributing factor that leads a person to exhibit aggressive attitudes and behavior

  39. Exposure to media violence can increase the probability of both short and long term harmful effects • Effects are mediated by characteristics of the viewer (demographics, psychological states)

  40. Media violence does NOT affect all viewers in the same way

  41. Short Term Media Effects • Viewer aggression: Bobo Doll experiments in 1970’s demonstrated how children who watched violent media portrayals were more likely to punch a Bobo Doll afterwards than children who did not watch a violent media portrayal

  42. Recent studies find that kids who watch violent television are at an increased risk for aggression • Exposure to violent media increases aggression and anti-social behavior in adults too

  43. Fear • Kids who are high television viewers are more likely than low television viewers to exhibit symptoms such as anxiety, trauma, and post-traumatic stress

  44. When kids view scary events in the media, they become more likely to fear those events in the real world • Fear induced by media in childhood is likely to linger into adulthood

  45. Desensitization • People can become jaded even after minimal exposure to media violence • As a result, some individuals exhibit a greater acceptance of violence and a decrease in empathy and concern for victims of violence

  46. Long Term Media Effects • Long Term exposure to media violence is related to aggression in a person’s life

  47. Longitudinal research shows childhood viewing of violence has a causal effect on aggressive behavior in adults • The degree to which viewers identify with the characters who behave violently impacts their likelihood of exhibiting aggressive behavior

  48. Once children become adults, their behavioral dispositions are difficult to change

  49. Media violence is related to violence in society • When TV is introduced into a country, crime rates in the country increase • When a high profile violent act is depicted on television, the incidents of criminal aggression increase afterwards

  50. (For example, teen suicides increase after a suicide appears on a fictional TV program)