Week6-10 Readings

Week6-10 Readings - LearningAboutPoliticsFromtheMassMedia...

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Learning About Politics From the Mass Media 07/06/2009 12:31:00 WEEK 6- 1 ST  READING Technology has brought new channels of public communication, but not  necessarily better information This article concludes that television news is becoming a major source of  political information that rivals the newspaper in some respects Also, consider the controversial comparison between news and advertising on  television Self-reported media use 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 Substantive political information was rarely covered in network television  news Also argued, that paid television advertisements for these candidates were  informative for voters Political Knowledge One common measure of political knowledge is accurate understanding of  “issue differences” between major political parties, or their candidates Some studies measure biographical knowledge about candidates, such as  their professional and political accomplishments Another useful indicator is knowledge of current events Gaining Information Measure knowledge gain over time and then to identify the media inputs that  are associated with it (the audiences for various media overlap, many people  who watch television news also read newspapers) Careful scholars use correlational data for falsification (not verification) of  hypotheses of media effects o Propositions that are not falsified are not simply accepted on the basis  of correlational evidence alone, but they remain viable while those that  do not survive this test are discarded Newspapers Newspapers are highly informative in the realm of public affairs Television News
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Recent studies paint a difference picture that television news is not  informative especially where the knowledge measure concerns candidates  rather than parties or issues. Television news was at least as strong a predictor of political knowledge as  the newspaper in surveys Self-reported reliance on TV for news was a negative predictor, but among  the newspaper-reliant, television added positively to a voter’s knowledge of  issue arguments Campaign Advertising Seeming “effects” differences between media may merely reflect differences  in measurement, identical question wording does not guarantee identical  reporting of a survey respondent’s experiences with different media. (to say  one “reads” a newspaper implies paying attention, whereas to say one  “Watches” television does not) Other Media Declining in significance
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Week6-10 Readings - LearningAboutPoliticsFromtheMassMedia...

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