Make your own free website on Tripod.com

OUTLINE GITELSON CHAPTER 9 MEDIA AND POLITICS (3) 

 

 

 

Introduction: power of media due to "myth of media manipulation": media directs/dominates how public thinks

†††††††††††††††††† about politics. Manipulation not confined to specific group.

 

 

I) Rise of Media

A) Early days (pgs. 236-237)

a) Before Civil War, press reached just elite audiences. (p. 236)

b) Media were partisan papers meaning they were pro-their own party and against their

††††† opponents. (p. 236)

c) Commercial papers: the ONLY alternative source. Appealed to merchants/traders. Short on

††† politics. (p. 236)

d) With New York Sun came age of mass journalism. (p. 236)

e) Penny Press: 1st generation papers with mass appeal to the large public. (For example: NY

††††† Sun). Mostly local news. Specialized in sensationalism. Scandalous events=increase

††††† popularity. (p. 237)

††††††††††††††††††††††† 1) sensationalism occurred more toward end of 19th century. (p. 237)

††††††††††† 2) Pulitzer, New York World. (p. 237)

††††††††††† 3) Hearst, New York Journal. (p. 237)

4) NY World and NY Journal were described as yellow journalism: named for "yellow kid"

comic strip appeared in World and Journal. Had bold headlines, drawings, color features

to get attention. (p. 237)

f) Conservative paper(the NY Times) developed by Adolph Ochs. Goal: to give news impartially.

†††† Became standard of journalism. (p. 237)

g) Yellow journalism still present, but less mainstream. (p. 237)

B) Broadcast Media (p. 237)

a) KDKA: 1st regularly scheduled radio station. (p. 237)

b) Early stations: were non-profit, public services to educate citizens. (p. 237)

c) FRC(Federal Radio Commission). Was before FCC. (p. 237)

d) Nonprofit stations disappeared. Replaced by commercial=to increase profit due to advertising.

e) FDR: fireside chats, friendly discussions. (p. 238)

f ) Programming news shows were resisted until CBS came. (p. 238)

g) Radio/TV always from a commercial venture. Popular, profitable quiz shows were preferred. (p. 238)

h) TV changed especially after JFK v. Nixon televised debate. Became prime source of news for

†††† most Americans. (p. 238)

i)Majority of people view TV as most believable news source. (p. 238)

C) Diversity/Concentration (p. 238)

††††††††† a) Ownership in a few hands=threatened diversity of expression. Ownership of major TV stations

†† were in fewer hands. (p. 240)

†††††††††††††††††††††† b) Newspaper competition decreased recently. (p. 240)

†††††††††††††††††††††† c) Major networks lost to new competitors(FOX, cable) in later 20th century. (p. 240)

†††††††††††††††††††††† d) Many believe technology destroying centralized/concentrated media. (p. 240)

D) Government regulation: Exercises little control compared with other nations. However, in U.S.,

†††† there is some control, especially over radio/television. (Control over printed material limited to

†††† obscenity/libel-see chapter 4.) (p. 241)

a) Licensing: FCC created due to limited frequencies. Monitors/regulated airway use(radio/TV) and

††† issues licenses(TV renewed every 5 years; radio every 2). While the US has some control over

††† the media, the vague mandates stated by the FCC gives the US government little control over

††† broadcasting as compared with other nations. This is shown through the denial of few

††† applications requested for licensing. (p. 242)

b) Equal time rule: created to promote equal opportunity for broadcasting. Means if one station

††† allows campaigning, others must be allowed, give same rates. Is MOST SIGNIFICANT FCC

††† requirement. (p. 242)

 

 

II) What is News (pgs. 242-244)

A) NY Times motto: "All the News thatís fit to print". (p. 242)

B) Newspapers have more advertising than news. NEWS HOLE(news, human interest stories, pure

††† entertainment features) occupies less than half of paper. (p. 242)

C) Network TV news=more limited in what will be shown. News picked from many events. "News is what

†††† those in news business decide is news." (p. 243)

D) Main criteria when picking stories: (p. 243)

††††††††††††††††††††††† 1) Must be timely/novel or "breaking stories". Show things that dont happen often. (p. 243)

††††††††††† 2) Must have violence, conflict, disaster, or scandal. (p. 243)

3) Familiarity. Involve people that public already know. Unknown people are usually shown as

††† victims. (p. 243)

E) Interviews relied on more than printed documents, by reporters. (p. 243)

F) Those providing pithy(meaningful, meaty) comments arepreferred. (p. 243)

G) Fear of missing big stories=mainstream journalist report things without getting all of the facts. (p. 243)

H) All-news outlets: Talk shows/infotainment mostly stress opinions, not news. (p. 244)

†††††††††††

 

III) Effects of mass media: know effects on society/people (G 244-246)

A) Critics say it has effect on PASSIVE audience(those that lack knowledge) or those that DONT have

†††† settled political beliefs or firmly held opinions. (p. 246)

B) Reason why it cannot change FIRM political beliefs is people exercise selective exposure: getting the

†††† information that support their beliefs. (p. 246)

C) Selective perception: existing beliefs influence way people interpret what they see. (p. 246)

D) TV news has significant effect in shaping public attribution of responsibility. (p. 246)

E) TV coverage either episodic or thematic: (p. 246)

1) Episodic: focus on individual. Is live, on scene reporting. An individual is given responsibility. (p. 246)

2) Thematic: issue put on larger more abstract content. In-depth background. Responsibility placed

††† on society or motive/actions of public officials. (p. 246)

F) Setting the agenda: (p. 246-247)

†††††††††† a) Press has less impact on known issues. (p. 246)

b) Priming: Media's ability to isolate particular issue/event/theme in news to evaluate politicians.

††† Influences people's standards when judging. HIGHLIGHTING tactics/strategies by media to

††† influence. (p. 247 & 250)

 

 

IV) Conducting Politics in Media: old and new (G 247-250)

A) pseudo-events: staged events to make media coverage for politician's goals. (p. 247)

a) Interesting/symbolic visuals are provided for evening news. (p. 247)

††††††††††† b) NATIONAL CONVENTIONS = MOST popular example of pseudo-event.

††††††††††† c) "Public opinions poll": press's version of pseudo-event. (p. 247)

B) Conventions faced with declining audience. (p. 248)

C) Bush v. Clinton talking before elections had less speaking time than journalist. Had only had "sound

†††† bites": speaking time for only a few seconds. (p. 248)

D) VNR(Video News Release) to local TV stations allow candidates to speak directly to public. Local

††† anchors seldom hard on candidates. (p. 248)

E) Candidates also turning to "the new media": radio call in shows, early morning TV programs, televised

††† town meetings, late-night entertainment. (p. 248)

F) Media-oriented politics diverts attention from issue toward campaign strategies. (p. 249)

G) "Horse-race method" of presidential election. 2/3 of campaign coverage in print media dealt with

††††† campaign strategies. (p. 249)

H) Journalist defense of covering campaign tactics: audience prefers it more than issues. (p. 250)

 

 

V) Uneasy alliance between Government and Media (pgs. 250-254)

††††††††††† -Goals conflict. Still, they are dependent on each other.

 

A) Covering the president: (p.251)

a) Portrayals of presidents more negative as term progresses. (p.251)

b) Some high-level White House staff are directly involved in media relations. (p.251)

c) Reporters repeat to public the info given to them by press secretary. This allows president to be

††† source of news rather than subjects. (p.251)

d) Press conferences: typically begins with short statement. President speaks directly to public.

††† Questioning time is reduced. (p.251)

e) List of possible questions to be asked is prepared and answered in advance. For example:

††† President Reagan held "mock news conferences".(p.252)

f ) Reporters sympathetic to administration were called "known friendlies": were seated in front, to

††† President's right. Told to "go to right" if questioning became uncomfortable. Still, embarrassment

††† unavoidable. (p.252)

g) Full text of speeches available electronically (Internet) to avoid press summaries. (p.252)

B) Leaks to press: Trial balloons are leaks knowingly made by the administration for administration's purposes.(p. 253)

C) Covering Congress: media pays less attention to them because there are so many. There's not one

†††† sole person to focus on. (p. 253)

a) Coverage occurs only when partisan conflict or scandal happens. (p. 254)

b) Congress members often get favorable attention especially from home-state media. (p. 254)

D) Covering Courts: Because of commonly occurring misinterpretation of rulings, courts donít hold press

††† conferences to explain rulings. (p. 254)

 

 

VI) Conclusion (pgs. 254-255)

A) Media play important role in framing issues, setting political agenda.(p. 254)

B) Media greatly affect political/business conduct. (p. 255)

C) There is little evidence of journalist using distorted info to manipulate news. Journalists often feel that

†††† they are being manipulated to spread the candidate's agendas to the public. (p. 255)