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The Media

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  1. The Media April 25, 2013

  2. Opportunities to discuss course content • Today 11-2 • Monday 10-2

  3. Learning Objectives • Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of how presidential and congressional elections are financed. • Identify and describe the formal and informal institutions involved in the electoral process

  4. Readings • Chapter 7: Political Communication and the Mass Media (Flanigan)

  5. Horse Race Coverage • What is it? • What does it contain • Why?

  6. Following The Polls

  7. The keys to horse race coverage • Polling • Perception • No issues

  8. Horse Race Dominated the Primaries

  9. Horse Race coverage in the Primary election

  10. Component I: Categorizer • Sorts the candidates into winners and losers • Creates an Image for the candidate • Romney • Obama

  11. Component II: Expectation Setter • Puts odds on the candidates • You want to be at the top… duh • But it isn't as good as you might think

  12. Component III: Mentioner • You want the media to notice you • Not all press is good press • Mentions mean money and votes

  13. Component IV:Winnowing • The Press Winnows (narrows) down the candidates • Attention is on Iowa and NH • Frontloading is the results

  14. Winnowing In 2012

  15. Debates

  16. Presidential Debates • A Recent Phenomenon • General Strategies • Do not screw up

  17. Why Candidates Like these • A chance for exposure • A chance for Legitimacy • A chance to move in the polls

  18. Presidential Debates • Who Wins (the leader in the polls) • The Person who doesn’t make a mistake • Does it matter?

  19. Presidential Debates • Win by not losing • What don't you want to do? • The 1960 Debate • Seem heartless • You are no Jack Kennedy • Eastern Europe is Free • Adm. James Stockdale • Blind , Deaf, Dumb

  20. Impact of the First Debate on Coverage

  21. The General Election

  22. 2012 vs 2008

  23. Less Horse Race than 2008

  24. Obligatory Chad Long Dig

  25. Negative Coverage Dominates

  26. Horse Race Coverage Favors Frontrunners

  27. The Media Missed Palin

  28. The Media Strategy

  29. The Media Strategy • Getting the Message Out • Paid Advertisements • Free Press • You campaign for votes and you campaign for media by getting free coverage • Avoid cannibalizing

  30. Getting Free Press • Having your message get covered by the media • You can reach a wide audience and It is not costing you money • This is fully mediated

  31. Obama Gets More Coverage (President + Candidate)

  32. Maximizing Free Coverage • Create a package • Convey a winning message • Shape an Image

  33. Maximizing Free Coverage • Don’t Say too Much • Repeat the Few Basic Points • Bad Press is Bad Press

  34. Ask Herman Cain about Bad news

  35. Paid Media in 2012

  36. Paid Media • Unmediated • Control the Message • More outlets than ever

  37. A Record Breaking Year • 1 million ads were aired • Both Sides were overwhelmingly negative • Obama Spent more and Ran More Ads • The Best Ads

  38. Herman Cain Bizarre Ads • The Rabbit • Smoking

  39. Targeting Ads and their Effect • Uncommitted voters vs Partisans • When are they Most Effective? • Ads are a sign of political viability

  40. Candidate Credibility • We have to trust the messenger • Issue Ownership • Try to focus on your best issue

  41. Getting More Votes • Delivering a positive message about your candidate (mobilizing) • Deliver a negative message about the opposition (mobilizing/demobilizing)

  42. Biographical Ads • Inform us about the Candidate • Very important early in the campaign • Obama doesn’t need to run these….

  43. Issue Ads • Focus on a specific issue or a policy area • Associate yourself with favorable policies • Do not mention issue weakness

  44. Examples of Issue Ads • The Bear in the Woods in 1984 • Mike Huckabee and Chuck Norris... • Hillary Clinton- Attack/Issue Ad

  45. Attack Ads • The Norm Rather than the Exception • The Mother of all Attack Ads

  46. The Effect of Attack ads on voters • Some voters become disenchanted and disaffected • Your Base Loves them!

  47. How Effective are these • If they didn’t work, candidates wouldn’t run them • The Lessons of 1988 • The Revolving Door • Willie Horton

  48. Why They Work and Who uses them more • We don’t trust politicians • They are more memorable and informative • Challengers and vulnerable incumbents use them

  49. How To Deal with them • Defend the Charges • Counterattack on the same issue or up the ante- The Puppy Ad • Attack the Credibility of your opponent

  50. How not to deal with them • Do Nothing • If you get Punched in the nose, you must punch back