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Media. “The 4 th Branch of Government”. Functions of the Media. Entertainment News Agenda setting – ability of the media to draw public attention to certain issues and to ignore other issues Political forum – place to make announcements or advertise government. Structure of Media.

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Media

“The 4th Branch of Government”


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Functions of the Media

  • Entertainment

  • News

  • Agenda setting – ability of the media to draw public attention to certain issues and to ignore other issues

  • Political forum – place to make announcements or advertise government


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Structure of Media

  • Print media – newspaper, magazine, etc.

    • Oldest, being steadily replaced

  • Electronic Media – radio, TV

    • TV now is the primary source of news

  • Internet – instant information, any time

    • Replacing print and electronic media

    • Blogs (short for Web Log)

    • 527’s – groups that independently raise money and campaign for and against people


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Media Conglomerates

  • WHO OWNS THE NEWS???

  • WHO OWNS INFORMATION?


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Media Conglomerates

  • Gannet owns USA Today and controls the biggest circulation in the nation + owns 100 additional papers

  • Rupert Murdoch owns 124 radio stations, New York Post, Weekly Standard, and FOX News


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Case Study - Viacom

  • Media Conglomerate – Viacom

  • CBS News

  • MTV

  • VH1

  • BET

  • Blockbuster

  • Paramount Pictures

  • Nickelodeon

  • DreamWorks

  • Showtime


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Government Regulation

  • 1st Amendment – freedom of press

  • Gov’t can’t place “prior restraint” on news (can’t censor news before it is released)

  • The press is not entirely free


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FCC

  • Federal Communications Commission

  • Controls the media, no one may operate radio or TV stations without their license

  • Who are they? – 5 members (no more than 3 from the same political party) nominated by US President for 5 years.


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FCC “Friends”

Howard Stern

“Man Cow”

Eminem


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Telecommunications Act of 1996

  • Relaxed limitations on media ownership

    • Own up to 35% of television market

    • Own unlimited % of radio

  • Remember Andrew Carnegie and Horizontal Integration???


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Impact of Media on Politics

  • “sound bites” – second long segments

  • Stories/political messages are shortened, and made to seem less complex than reality


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Media and Political Campaigns

  • Advertising – very expensive on TV, way to reach many voters, raising campaign costs

  • News coverage – “free” coverage, politicians will attempt to create events where media will attend for free publicity

    • Spin doctor – one who tries to influence journalists with interpretations of events that are favorable to the candidate

  • Presidential Debates


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Media and Gov’t Officials

  • White House Press Corp – journalists whose sole job is to follow the President

  • White House Press Secretary – responsible for addressing the press daily and answer questions for the president

    • Tony Snow, former FOX broadcaster

    • Dana Perino took over 9-14-07


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