POL S 202: Intro to American Politics - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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  1. POL S 202: Intro to American Politics “Public Opinion and the Media” Week 5: October 30, 2007

  2. American Politics in the News… Interesting News Stories 1. Blackwater received immunity from US State Dept. for Iraq shootings 2. Supreme Court rules in minor sex case, 17 and 15 years old 3. Pres of France is getting divorced because of an affair… is that a big deal in Europe?

  3. If you want to predict the outcome of the coming election, what type of survey is the best to use? • Online / Internet • Mail-in • Exit poll • Telephone

  4. Public Opinion in Washington state has long been described as… • Opposed to abortion • Supportive of taxes • Skeptical of government • Supportive of Congress • Heavily Democratic

  5. The Role of the Media in Politics Historically, the print media played the most important role in informing public debate ► Federalist vs. Anti-Federalist Today 90% of Americans rely on Television The Internet / Blogs have become a major source of political communication

  6. Regardless of the source, how closely do you follow news about public affairs and politics? • Very closely • Somewhat closely • Just a little • Not at all

  7. Regardless of how closely you follow the news, what is your primary news source? • Printed Newspaper • Online Newspaper • Online – Blog or Other • Television • Radio

  8. The Media’ Functions in the United States • Entertainment • Reporting the news • Identifying public problems • Setting the public agenda • Socializing new generations • Providing a political forum • Making profits

  9. Setting the Agenda • Public Agenda: Issues that are perceived by the political community as meriting public attention and governmental action • How do certain issues get on the agenda? • Is the media controlled by corporate interests? • Can “public” issues gain national attention? • Can the Internet help level the playing field?

  10. The Media and Political Campaigns • Advertising • The management of news coverage (spin) • FEMA press conference about California wildfires in which FEMA employees posed as reporters to ask questions • The practice of “embedding” journalists with soldiers in conflict zones

  11. The Media and Political Campaigns • Advertising • The management of news coverage (spin) • Journalist on the campaign trail • Presidential debates • The media’s impact on voters • Calling elections / announcing winners

  12. Serious problems in state death penalty systems compromise fairness and accuracy in capital punishment cases and justify a nationwide freeze on executions, the American Bar Association says. In full, more than 200 inmates have been executed which DNA testing later found to be innocent. Already, 34 states have ordered the death penalty to be halted until further research can be conducted. State and federal courts have effectively stopped most executions pending a high court decision. According to a report issued by defense attorneys, some problems in selected death penalty systems could have issues with accuracy in capital punishment cases and question whether a nationwide freeze on executions should be ordered A review of all executions found 9800 had no errors and in 200 cases DNA testing exonerated inmates The evidence is not conclusive though with 16 states still endorsing the death penalty. State and federal courts have temporarily put executions on hold pending Supreme Court review

  13. Which news story did you just read? • New York Times • Fox News

  14. Should the Death Penalty be used as a form of punishment in the U.S.? • Yes • Maybe • No

  15. All in all, do you think the Death Penalty is implemented fairly? • Yes • Maybe • No

  16. Studies of the Death Penalty have found conclusive errors • True • False • Hard to say

  17. Serious problems in state death penalty systems compromise fairness and accuracy in capital punishment cases and justify a nationwide freeze on executions, the American Bar Association says. In full, more than 200 inmates have been executed which DNA testing later found to be innocent. Already, 34 states have ordered the death penalty to be halted until further research can be conducted. State and federal courts have effectively stopped most executions pending a high court decision. According to a report issued by defense attorneys, some problems in selected death penalty systems could have issues with accuracy in capital punishment cases and question whether a nationwide freeze on executions should be ordered A review of all executions found 9800 had no errors and in 200 cases DNA testing exonerated inmates The evidence is not conclusive though with 16 states still endorsing the death penalty. State and federal courts have temporarily put executions on hold pending Supreme Court review

  18. How does Media influence? • Frame the issues • Select which “facts” to use • Select who to interview as sources • Provide one-sided or two-sided view • Can inform, can also bias • Is there a political agenda?

  19. Assignment for tomorrow • Find an example of media bias • Identify the objective/real facts • How did one or two media sources portray a different picture from the “facts” • Why?