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The Media and Politics. Politics in the Age of Mass Media. Media and Elections. Politicians and media have a symbiotic relationship Media focus on conflict and negative advertisements Media focus on frontrunners and the horserace Campaigns focus on spin and soundbites. Media and Politics.

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The media and politics

The Media and Politics

Politics in the Age of Mass Media


Media and elections
Media and Elections

  • Politicians and media have a symbiotic relationship

  • Media focus on conflict and negative advertisements

  • Media focus on frontrunners and the horserace

  • Campaigns focus on spin and soundbites


Media and politics
Media and Politics

  • Theories of Media and Politics

    • Patterson

    • Sabato

    • Zaller

  • Media and Elections

    • Debates

    • Conventions

    • Ads


Patterson s out of order
Patterson’s Out of Order

  • Trends in media coverage of elections

  • Tone of coverage  Positive to negative

  • Style  Descriptive to interpretive

  • Issues  Policy issues to reporters’ issues


Patterson s out of order1
Patterson’s Out of Order

Consequences

  • Tone of coverage  Positive to negative

    Consequence: Voters distrust candidates, government, media

  • Style  Descriptive to interpretive

    Consequence: Voters less informed

  • Issues  Policy issues to reporters’ issues

    Consequence: Voters adopt media frames/primes


Sabato s feeding frenzy
Sabato’s Feeding Frenzy

  • Lapdog journalism (1941-1966)

    • Reporting that served and reinforced the political establishment.

  • Watchdog (1966-1974)

    • Scrutinized and checked the behavior of political elites by undertaking independent investigations into statements made by public officials.

  • Junkyard dog (1974 to present)

    • Reporting that is often and harsh, aggressive intrusive, where feeding frenzies flourish and gossip reaches print.


Causes of the feeding frenzy
Causes of the Feeding Frenzy

  • Advances in media technology

  • Competitive pressure

  • Political events


Zaller s theory of media politics
Zaller’s Theory of Media Politics

  • Theory of campaign coverage needs to take into account the different interests of voters, media, and candidates

  • Voters: "Don’t waste my time"; "Tell me only what I need to know"

  • Candidates: Use journalists to "Get Our Story Out"

  • Journalists: Maximize their "voice" in the news


Media and elections debates
Media and Elections: Debates

  • 1960: First Televised Debate

  • 1984: Reagan’s Age

    • "I will not make age an issue in this campaign. I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent's youth and inexperience."

  • 1988 - “You’re no Jack Kennedy”

  • 1988 - Death Penalty

  • 1992 - Price of milk?

  • 2000 - Gore (sighing)


Media and elections conventions
Media and Elections: Conventions

  • In the past, party conventions were much more important

  • Today, they are media events

    • Nothing new happens

    • Scripted events, speeches

  • Today, conventions usually give candidates a positive bump in the “horserace”

    • These bumps are short-lived


Media and elections ads
Media and Elections: Ads

  • Political advertising: positive vs. negative

    • Positive advertising

      • Seek to define yourself before your opponent does it for you

    • Negative advertising

      • Does it work?

        • Yes  Voters remember negative ads longer than positive ads

          • Negative ads provide information to voters


1964 – Daisy Spot

1988 – Willie Horton

2000 - Meatball


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