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Media. “The 4 th Branch of Government”. In this Chapter you will learn…. What is the role (function) of the media? (What should it be may be different that what it is) How effective do you think it is? How much influence does the media have in shaping policy?
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Media “The 4th Branch of Government”
In this Chapter you will learn… • What is the role (function) of the media? • (What should it be may be different that what it is) • How effective do you think it is? • How much influence does the media have in shaping policy? • How much influence do you think the media has in changing public opinion?
Take Five • Why do you think that the media is often referred to as the “4th” branch of the 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 • Reporting on governmental policy
Brief History of the Media • Party Press 1770-1820 • Press was seen as an extension of party • Until mid 1880s parties sold their proceedings • Watch dog role –Jefferson’s relationship with Sally Hemmings
Take Five • Give an example of the media that altered an event in US History… Hint: it’s yellow
Brief History of the Media—the Penny Press and Yellow Journalism • Less partisan, but not objective • Hearst and the Spanish American war- “You furnish the pictures and I’ll get you the war”. • “Yellow journalism”- cheap yellow paper, sensational late 1800s • Muckraking- Upton Sinclair Progressive Era- media became to be more independent
Take Five • How has the media changed from the 1800s to modern day?
The “New” Media • The increasing rapid pace of electronic news and television’s global coverage shortens the time frame for policy responses. • In 1961, when the Berlin Wall went up, President Kennedy had 8 days to respond to the provocative action. • In 1989, when the wall came down, President Bush, Sr was forced to respond overnight.
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 • 527’s – groups that independently raise money and campaign for and against people
Media Conglomerates • WHO OWNS THE NEWS??? • WHO OWNS INFORMATION?
Media Conglomerates • Gannet Co. 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
Case Study - Viacom • Media Conglomerate – Viacom • CBS News • MTV • VH1 • BET • Blockbuster • Paramount Pictures • Nickelodeon • DreamWorks • Showtime
The Transformation of Media • Radio then television transformed media • Televised debate between Nixon Kennedy-radio listeners gave Nixon the edge, but Kennedy did well on tv. changed nature of campaigns • Youtube has brought changes-”His [Obama’s] speeches play well on YouTube, which allows for more than the five-second sound bites that have characterized the television era”- Marc Ambinder Atlantic Monthly June 2008
Television News? • A full transcript of the typical nightly network news broadcasts – foreign and domestic – would not fill half of the front page of an average daily newspaper. • Yet ¾ of the American people routinely depend on this source for most of their foreign affairs information.
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
Media Regulations • FCC equity-have to sell air time equally to all candidates if they choose to sell any • BUT…if one side buys more than another, then the media agency is in compliance—the opportunity is there • Fairness doctrine- rule required broadcasters to cover events with contrasting views- NO longer in effect, although talk of bringing it back
FCC • Federal Communications Commission (1934) • 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.
Take Five • Until 2003, it was illegal for one media organization to own different media outlets such as radio and tv.
FCC • Control airwaves for licenses and content • 2003 changed rules about cross-ownership so companies can now own different types of media outlets • Can reach 45% of national audience at any one time. So Time Warner can have movie, cable news and an entertainment show all on at same time-shill for one another
Telecommunications Act of 1996 • Relaxed limitations on media ownership • Own up to 35% of television market • Own unlimited % of radio • Remember Vanderbilt and Horizontal Integration???
Say What??? • The media is a watch dog • Is the tail wagging the dog?
Roles of the Media • Watch dog-responsibility of media to make public aware of corruption, incompetence, illegal, unethical actions by politicians • Agenda setter-focuses public attention on issues- is the tail wagging the dog? • The mass media may not be successful in telling people what to think, but they are stunningly successful in telling their audience what to think about. • Average sound bite for Presidential candidate in 1968 was 42 seconds by 2000 less than 10 seconds
Watergate and InvestigativeJournalism • Watch dog role becomes paramount- • Power of journalism • Media begins to focus on personal lives of politicians,had been out of bounds, Roosevelt,JFK, etc. • More sensational “If it bleeds it leads”
Roles of the Media • Score keeper- media polls drive news, candidates performance constantly criticized, measured • Signaler- Alert the public about important developments • Horse-race journalism- term for primaries particularly-who is in lead, second etc. • Framing- how media presents context-KKK rally more accepted if defined as civil rights story, less if public safety issue
Roles of the Media • Press release- on paper document with official position given to reporters • Press briefing- limited topic-announcements then brief questions State Department or DOD • Press Conference- statement then questions on wide range of topics
Presidential Press Conferences • Modern presidents hold fewer press conferences than historic presidents • Examples: • FDR held 998 press conferences • Eisenhower held 193 press conferences • Kennedy held 65 press conferences • Clinton held 50 press conferences • George W. Bush held 20 press conferences
Take Five • How can the media print and publish information that is “off the record”?
What’s the media lingo? • On background- give info about rival, but won’t be the source • Deep background unsourced "Deep background" This term is used in the U.S., though not consistently. Most journalists would understand "deep background" to mean that the information may not be included in the article but is used by the journalist to enhance his or her view of the subject matter, or to act as a guide to other leads or sources. Most deep background information is confirmed elsewhere before being reported • Off the record- whatever official says can be printed- but will get info somewhere else • On the record-Journalists protect sources- Judith Miller went to jail for refusing to name her source re Scooter Libby Valerie Plame info.
Impact of Media on Politics • “sound bites” – second long segments • Stories/political messages are shortened, and made to seem less complex than reality
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
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
Supreme Court Cases and the Media • New York Times v United States 1971 Secret “Pentagon Papers” published • Ruled that publication could NOT be blocked • Can not use “prior restraint” unless “overwhelming” justification such as military movements before or during war • New York Times v Sullivan 1964 • Libel requires proof of actual malice- a knowing or reckless disregard for the truth. NY Times found NOT guilty because malice not proved. So information could be wrong, but has to printed or released with malicious intention-difficult to prove.