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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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“The 4th Branch of Government”

functions of the media
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
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
media conglomerates
Media Conglomerates
media conglomerates5
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
case study viacom
Case Study - Viacom
  • Media Conglomerate – Viacom
  • CBS News
  • MTV
  • VH1
  • BET
  • Blockbuster
  • Paramount Pictures
  • Nickelodeon
  • DreamWorks
  • Showtime
government regulation
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
  • 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.
fcc friends
FCC “Friends”

Howard Stern

“Man Cow”


telecommunications act of 1996
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???
impact of media on politics
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
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
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