Review Sheet for the Final Exam (5/12/06) PS104, Professor David
In what ways are the media biased in their coverage of politics?
seek not only to report the news, but also interpret the news.
Goals and incentives of journalists vary but include, to report in
considerations of ratings, career success and professional prestige, and
activities and interests are potential news topics; news is
influenced by the interests of politicians. Politicians try to manipulate their
images. Politicians will leak “juicy” news in exchange for the reporter
casting them in favorable light.
—consumer preferences, such as those of the affluent or those of
people who watch the news for its entertainment value , influence news
Is “public journalism” the solution to many of the problems posed by the media?
No, public journalism puts too much power into the hands of the biased
public; they want to shape news rather than report it.
Is objectivity in the media desirable or possible? (Chap. 9 in ED)
Yes, it is desirable because the media takes too much of a role in political
campaigns; not suited task for choosing leaders. Focuses too much on
negative coverage; loss of sense of proportion; focuses on who is up and who
—the media cannot be separated from the society in which it
works; American is in the midst of a significant cultural division, and it is
inevitable that the media will represent this split.
—the pursuit of objectivity leads to problems; reporters are
so worried about being charged as biased that they allow misleading
statements to be broadcast without challenge.
—objectivity in the media is not only worthwhile, but
indispensable… it is a goal well worth pursuing, for the good of the
profession of journalism, more importantly, for the good of the nation.
How has the mainstream media been challenged by new tactics and technology?
(Last in ED).
The internet—live coverage, less time for analysis.
—contends that the new media have had a profound effect
the presentation of news in the U.S. In particular, new media can force items
onto the agenda of the old media. Because of more outlets to discuss issues,
more buzz around stories forcing traditional media to feel obliged to pick up
investigative reporting, “horserace” coverage, regulating the media, changes in the media
culture (the rise of adversarial journalism), the "bandwagon effect," sources of media
power, interpretive versus policy coverage, nationalization of the news, prior restraint,