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Political Parties, Interest Groups, and Mass Media

Political Parties, Interest Groups, and Mass Media

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Political Parties, Interest Groups, and Mass Media

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Presentation Transcript

  1. Political Parties, Interest Groups, and Mass Media Unit IIIC Mass Media

  2. Mass Media • Includes all forms and aspects of communication to the general public • Considered the “fourth branch of government” given the importance and influence on the electorate, policy-making, politics, and the government

  3. Mass Media DevelopmentNewspapers • Colonial and Early Republic Times • Small circulations • Expensive • Financed by politicians and interest groups • Modern Times • Telegraph and printing developments increased circulations on national levels by late 19th century • Yellow journalism • Limited press due to television and internet

  4. Mass Media DevelopmentMagazines • Developed in mid-19th century with smaller circulation and limited publishing • Gained influence with muckraking articles during Progressive Era • After 1920s, national circulation • Time, Newsweek, U.S. News and World Report

  5. Mass Media DevelopmentRadio • Developed in early 20th century • Primary source of news and event broadcasts for early and mid-20th century • FDR used radio for fireside chats • Lost influence with television

  6. Mass Media DevelopmentTelevision • After WWII, television became primary source for news and event broadcasts • Helped glorify journalists • Claims largest mass media audience • Broadcast of McCarthy hearings, Nixon-Kennedy debates, and Vietnam coverage solidified television in political spectrum • Narrowcasting, cable news, and 24/7 news cycle in late 20th century • Talking heads

  7. Mass Media DevelopmentInternet • Development in late 20th century and early 21st century • World Wide Web becoming growing source of news and information • Blogs • Subject to immense bias and limited factual credibility

  8. Function of Mass Media • Provide information to the public • Influence and shape public opinion • Link the government and the public • Act as a watchdog of the government • Influence agenda setting

  9. Role of National Press • Gatekeeper • Influencing or determining which issues receive attention or degree of attention • Part of agenda setting • Scorekeeper • Tracking candidates or issues showing their importance or significance over time • Ex. Polls on leading Republican presidential candidates • Watchdog • Investigating and exposing candidates and institutions • Ex. Watergate

  10. Media and the President • The President receives the most attention by the media • Media Events • Press Secretary • Sources of Information • News/press releases • News briefings • News conferences • Leaks

  11. Media and Congress • Limited coverage in relation to President • Coverage of confirmation hearings, oversight investigations, scandals • C-SPAN

  12. Mass Media Jargon • Media event • Sound byte • Loaded language • On the record • Off the record • On background • On deep background • Trial balloon • Kill a leak

  13. Regulation of Media • Technical • Licensing, signal strength, digital conversion • Structural • Organization and ownership of broadcast media outlets • Content • Limitations on coverage of subjects

  14. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) • Federal Communications Act of 1934 established FCC as independent regulatory agency on interstate communication • Enforces technical, structural, and content regulations

  15. Technical Regulation • Public owns the airwaves • Anything transmitted over the airwaves is subject to regulation • Radio and television broadcasters must obtain a license renewable every 5 years • Subject to hearing if a group objects/complains • Digital conversion • Digital Transition and Public Safety Act of 2005 • All over-the-air broadcasts must end analog transmissions and convert to digital

  16. Structural Regulation • Media Consolidation • Before 1980s, media monopolies were strictly enforced and prohibited • A corporation could not monopolize an entire market • Telecommunications Act of 1996 • Deregulated limitations on corporations • Led to fewer but larger media conglomerates

  17. Content Regulation • Political Campaigns • Fairness Doctrine • Mandated broadcast of opposing views • Dismissed by FCC in 1987 • Equal Time Rule • Media time must be equally granted, media costs must be equal, commercial ads must be the same during candidate air time • Right of Rebuttal • Candidates have the right to opportunity to respond to allegations made by an opposing candidate

  18. Content Regulation • Public Decency • FCC imposes fines and may revoke licenses in violation of decency standards set by law • Obscenity prohibited • Profanity prohibited between 6AM and 10PM • Only enforced on over-the-air broadcasts; cable not subject 2004 Super Bowl XXXVIII Halftime Show

  19. First Amendment • Prior Restraint • Government prohibited from censoring or refusing publication/broadcast • Near v. Minnesota (1931) • New York Times v. United States (1971) • Pentagon Papers • Libel • Malicious printed material is not protected • Slander • Malicious oral material is not protected

  20. Media Bias • Coverage and reporting of issues and candidates slanted by “liberal” reporters and/or “conservative” media owners • Sensationalism over objectivity • Actual News Headlines vs. Fox News Headlines

  21. Media Bias