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THE MEDIA Introduction President C linton's involvement in extramarital affairs raises a number of interesting points and questions about the role of the media in american government and politics. How could a sex scandal threaten the president? Why Clinton and not his predecessors?

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  • President Clinton's involvement in extramarital affairs raises a number of interesting points and questions about the role of the media in american government and politics.

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People, Government, and Communications balance between freedom of the press and order.

  • COMMUNICATION is the process of transmitting information from one individual or group to another.

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  • M balance between freedom of the press and order.ASS COMMUNICATION is the process by which information is distributed to large, heterogeneous, and widely dispersed audiences.

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  • MASS MEDIA balance between freedom of the press and order.refers to the technologies employed in mass communication.

  • Two types of mass media:

    • Print.

    • Broadcast.

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  • Group media through sounds and images., such as the fax and the Internet, are communications technologies used primarily within groups of common interest.

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The Development of the Mass Media in the United States through sounds and images.

  • The development of the mass media in the United States reflects the growth of the country, technological innovation, and shifting political attitudes about the scope of government.

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  • Newspapers: through sounds and images.The newspapers operating during the American Revolution were initially organs of political parties, and they advocated party causes much as group media do today.

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  • Today, the three largest national newspapers are towns had two or more competing daily papers under separate ownership.

    • The Wall Street Journal, circulation 1.8 million

    • USA Today, circulation 1.6 million

    • The New York Times, circulation 1 million.

    • By comparison, the National Enquirer sells about 4 million copies each week.

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  • Magazines: towns had two or more competing daily papers under separate ownership.

    • Magazines tend to have a much smaller circulation and are often forums for opinion‑-to this extent magazines are more like group media than mass media.

  • In spite of their small circulation, magazines are politically influential through the two‑step flow of communication.

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  • They influence towns had two or more competing daily papers under separate ownership.attentive policyelites‑group leaders who follow news in specific areas.

  • Policy elites then influence mass opinion by circulating their views in the mass media.

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Radio: towns had two or more competing daily papers under separate ownership.

  • Radio, which began commercial operation in the 1920s, made celebrities out of news personalities.

  • The novelty of radio was live coverage.

  • Today, radio is more important as a forum for talk than as a source of live coverage of events.

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Television: towns had two or more competing daily papers under separate ownership.

  • Though the growth of television was retarded by world war II, this medium grew explosively after the war ended.

  • Television increased the visibility of broadcast journalists and promoted the careers of politicians who learned to use the medium.

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MODERN FORMS OF GROUP MEDIA towns had two or more competing daily papers under separate ownership.

  • Fax transmissions and the Internet.

  • Though fax technology was available in the 1940s, it was applied primarily to the telephone, and newspapers used the technique to transmit images, called wire photos.

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PRIVATE OWNERSHIP OF THE MEDIA news stories appear on the world wide web before they appear in the mainstream media.

  • The mass media are privately owned in the United States.

  • They are in business to make money, which they do by selling advertising.

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  • Potential news stories are judged for their more political freedom in the United States than in most other countries.newsworthinessaccording to their audience appeal, which means high impact, sensationalism, familiarity, close‑to‑home character, and timeliness.

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  • Media owners acquire additional media outlets to increase their profits.

  • The result has been a growing concentration of ownership in both print and broadcast journalism.

  • Fears of concentrating broadcast media under single ownership have led to government regulation of ownership patterns.

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  • Government regulation of the broadcast media historically has addressed three aspects of their operation and has witnessed two political eras.

  • The 1934 Communications Act created the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and formed the basis for media regulation for more than sixty years.

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  • Technical regulations arose because of the limited number of frequencies available for broadcasting.

  • With a limited number of frequencies, the many broadcasters . stepped on" one another's signals.

  • Broadcasters sought regulations and gave up freedom in order to impose order on the use of the airwaves.

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  • The FCC also regulated the ownership of electronic media. frequencies available for broadcasting.

  • Broadcasters were limited in the number of television and radio stations they could own nationally.

  • Regulations also restricted the number of stations a single entity could own in any given community.

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  • In 1978, the supreme court ruled that the FCC could prohibit“indecent” language on the radio.

  • Later, it limited such language to certain hours.

  • Then Congress passed a law prohibiting it at any time.

  • The Supreme Court rejected the law and left the FCC time period in place.

The language was from comedian George Carlin’s “Filthy Words

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  • The prohibit“indecent” language on the radio.equal opportunities rule provides that a station must make available an equal amount of time under the same conditions to all political candidates.

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  • The prohibit“indecent” language on the radio.reasonable access rule requires stations to make their facilities available to conflicting views from all responsible elements in the community.

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  • Many changes began to undermine the basis for the 1934 Act. prohibit“indecent” language on the radio.

  • Technological change made television commonplace, and it also brought about computers, fax machines, and satellite transmission. Businesses began to pressure Congress to remove restrictions so they could exploit these new technologies.

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  • The Telecommunications Act of 1996 further removed many regulations.

  • It relaxed or eliminated ownership regulations.

  • Its intent was to allow all communications media‑ television, radio, cable television, and telephone‑to compete in offering varied services to customers.

  • So far, this law has resulted in a greater concentration of media ownership.

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  • Five functions the mass media serve for the political system:

    • Reporting the news.

    • Interpreting the news.

    • Influencing the news.

    • Setting the agenda.

    • Socializing citizens

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  • Washington, D.C., has the largest press corps of any city in the world over six thousand reporters.

  • White House correspondents rely heavily on information they receive in the press room in the west wing of the White House.

  • They receive stories routinely through news releases, news briefings, and news conferences.

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  • Media executives, news editors, and prominent reporters function as gatekeepers in presenting the news and deciding which events to report and how to handle their elements.

  • Television in particular operates under severe time limitations, and the average news story lasts about one minute.

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  • The result in covering election campaigns is to Congress or the Supreme race journalism, which focuses on "who's ahead" rather than on what the candidates stand for.

  • Many news events are staged as media events to attract coverage because of audience appeal.

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  • The information they see on television.television hypothesis suggests that television is a prime reason for the public's low level of knowledge of public affairs.

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THE POLITICAL EFFECTS OF THE MEDIA information they see on television.

  • Influencing Public Opinion

    • Virtually all citizens must rely on the mass media for their political news.

    • Almost nine out of every ten Americans believe that the media strongly influence political institutions and public opinion. (See Compared with What? 6. 1.)

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  • Setting the Political Agenda information they see on television.

    • The media play a role in setting the political agenda‑-the issues that get government attention.

    • The media heighten the public's concern about social problems, such as crime.

    • However, the media also distort the incidence of social problems and confuse policymakers and the public alike about what should or can be done.

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  • Socialization media coverage.

    • Even through its entertainment programs, television operates as a medium of political socialization.

    • Compared with the early days of radio, however, television programs tend to erode confidence in the criminal justice system.

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  • News reporters are said to have a liberal bias in reporting the news, whereas editors and publishers are suspected of having a conservative bias that tones down their reporters' liberalism.

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  • Although the media are willing to mobilize government action to infringe on personal freedom for equality's sake, they resist attempts to infringe on freedom of the press to promote public order.

  • Compared with the public, journalists are far more likely to regard freedom of the press as sacrosanct.

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Ross Perot encourage the activities.

Wealthy candidates may buy prime time ad space on TV. Ross Perot (in 1992 and 1996) and Steve Forbes (in 1996) spent their own millions seeking the presidency.

Steve Forbes

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The Press: Legal and Constitutional Issues encourage the activities.

The Constitution does not allow “prior restraint” of the press, meaning a newspaper cannot be stopped from printing something because it might be libelous. It must be allowed to do so, and then it will be held legally accountable.

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However, in 1990, the Supreme Court upheld a government effort to prevent CNN from broadcasting taped conversations between Manuel Noriega, Panama’s deposed dictator, and his lawyer.