Comm 166 ReadingsPt2

Comm 166 ReadingsPt2 - Comm166Readings(Part2) Week6...

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Comm 166 Readings (Part 2) Week 6 Chaffee and Kanihan Learning About Politics from the Mass Media Media Critics take a dim view of the public’s information capacity People don’t govern, they either support or oppose those individuals who  actually govern with occasional mobilization as a majority Tech has brought new channels of public comm., but not necessarily for  better information Television news is becoming a major source of political information that rivals  the newspaper in some respects Self-Reported Media Use Self-reported news acquisition shifted from newspapers to television in the  1960s o Scholars place little faith in self-reported learning People who describe themselves as television reliant, have been less able to  answer factual questions about politics than those who rely instead on  newspapers and magazines o Little television fare is designed to enlighten the electorate Substantive pol. info rarely covered in network tv news Viewers who watched these programs regularly were no more likely to know  how the candidates differed on major issues than non-viewers Political Knowledge One common measure of political knowledge is accurate understanding of  “issue differences” on policies  Some studies measure biological knowledge about candidates  professional  and political accomplishments Knowledge of current events Typically a person only casually follows a single news presentation A long series of daily exposures can cumulate so that sig. knowledge is  acquired Most Americans answer correctly more often than not when asked about  policy issues that separate the two parties
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Many also have a lot to say about issues, and about character diffs Gaining Information Measure knowledge gain over time and then identify the media inputs  associated with the gain o Method confounded by media use overlap Newspapers Newspaper reading and attention are two strongest predictors of party-issue  diffs Self-reported reliance on the paper for one’s news also predicts information  recall Television News Recent studies show that TV news is at least as strong a predictor of political  knowledge as the newspaper TV news reliance specifically predicted personal knowledge about the  candidates (in 1992) TV reliance correlates with interest in personal qualities at the beginning of  the election yr with eventual voting on basis of personal qualities TV is the medium through which voters inform their judgments about  candidates as individuals, as distinct from their parties and declarations about  current issues
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This note was uploaded on 11/16/2010 for the course COMM STD Comm 166 taught by Professor Peterson during the Spring '10 term at UCLA.

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Comm 166 ReadingsPt2 - Comm166Readings(Part2) Week6...

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