The Media - The Media The History and Structure of the...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
The Media The History and Structure of the American News Media: Changes in the organization and technology of the press have brought major changes in the organization of American politics. In the era of the party press in the early years of the Republic, parties established and provided government support for newspapers. The press was relentlessly partisan and reached the commercial and political elites. Changes in society and technology made the popular press possible. Urbanization created large cities that could support mass circulations, and the invention of the rotary press made producing papers cheap and quick. In order to create mass circulation, newspapers-under the leadership of men like Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst-stressed violence, romance, patriotism, and exposes of wrongdoing in business and government. The mass circulation newspaper facilitated the emergence of mass politics, the mobilization of voters, and the development of strong party loyalties. The rising middle class was repelled by the yellow journalism of the popular press and provided the market for magazines of opinion. During their peak around the turn of the century, these magazines promoted the causes of the Progressive movement: business regulation, the purification of municipal politics, and civil service reform Muckrakers such as Lincoln Steffens set the pattern for today's investigative reporting. Electronic journalism, which began with the emergence of radio in the 1920s and continued with the spread of television in the late 1940s, places great stress on the personal characteristics of politicians- whether they are attractive, speak well, or behave in a manner sufficiently colorful to justify inclusion in newscasts that must hold audience attention. In the contemporary media era, the media's structure is characterized by (a) a decline in the number of cities in which there are competing newspapers; (b) an orientation to the local market; (c) a decentralized broadcasting industry; (d) three major national television networks, hundreds of television stations, and thousands of cable systems and radio stations; (e) national media consisting of the news magazines, television networks, and newspapers such as the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal; and (f) a rapidly expanding Internet. Selection of Media and Bias in the News The mass media do not simply mirror reality. The process of selection, editing, and emphasis provides an opportunity for slanting the news, further enhanced by the general absence of fast-breaking stories. Thomas Dye estimates that 70 percent of television news stories are preplanned (selected or insider), with only 30 percent involving spontaneous events. Additionally, national press is staffed by people who are more liberal than the public as a
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Image of page 2
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Page1 / 4

The Media - The Media The History and Structure of the...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 2. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online