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16Media_bw_ - American Government Lecture 16 The Media...

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American Government Lecture 16 - The Media
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Constitutional vs. Non- Constitutional Government Constitutional Government Theory of government Branches of government Powers of government Limits on what government can do How framers set stuff up, given what they knew Non-Constitutional Government The “other” things that make government work Not demanded by Constitution, but essential Our form of government would be impossible without
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Media Presence implied in Bill of Rights Freedom of the Press is only reference to a non- government institution Must be important Democracy is impossible without it People must know what’s going on They can’t all be everywhere Must share knowledge/experience Need a forum to do so
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Forms of Media Media Transmission of ideas Can involve simple speech, or letter writing Three formal types Print Media Broadcast Media Internet Each treated differently by government Why? History
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Pre-American Media - Middle Ages Media is a pretty modern invention Arrives in 1500’s (Enlightenment) Previously, all information is shared orally Literacy rates not high in Europe Few people could read except for Clergy And those wealthy enough to be taught All material hand written Slow and tedious Expensive Not much of a market for the written word Catholic Church didn’t value reading Interfered with Church hierarchy
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Pre-American Media - Enlightenment 1445 Guttenberg Press Allows words to be “pressed” onto paper Cheaper and easier to print material 1517 Martin Luther posts 95 Thesis Appeals that God is available to all Argues all should read the Bible Literacy rates increase Converts to Protestantism learn to read Spreads to Middle Class merchants
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Pre-American Media - The Early Press Literacy creates market for information People know only what they experience If not directly, indirectly People evaluate things by what they know Can’t be everywhere always, so must share info Press allows information to spread widely People evaluate government by what they know of it Pre-Press, that’s not much Printing allows people to know more People like this (but Government might not)
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Government Influence - Pre-America Governments typically regulate media Grant licenses to print and sell material Publishers that criticize government don’t survive Focus is on foreign events and good government acts Controlling availability of information is key People can only act on what they know Controlling the media provides control of people Literacy still isn’t high Governments don’t provide education In Europe, probably not over 25% can read Clustered in Middle and Upper classes
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Origins of American Media Several Stages Patron based Press Partisan Press Penny Press National Press Radio Television Internet
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16Media_bw_ - American Government Lecture 16 The Media...

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