Political Science 101 lectures pt 3

Political Science 101 lectures pt 3 - Political Science 101...

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Political Science 101: Introduction to US Government and Politics Lecture Notes Part 3 The Media and American Politics I. Communication and Democracy A. Why is communication central to politics? - Can’t have politics without communication. -How people discover common interests and for groups. -Articulate interests to government. -Learn about candidates and policy proposals. -Officials use media to accomplish their goals. B. "Mass" media 1. Why do we need it? -audience is large, heterogeneous and widely dispersed 2. Basic types a. print b. broadcast C. The double-edged sword of freedom of the press 1. Why is it necessary for democracy? People need to have info to make decisions holds leader accountable if they go against promises. 2. Why can it make governing difficult? Distortion of info- can’t tell them ahead of time that what they print is wrong. Opposition groups, manipulate facts, things that government doesn’t want to get out could. Too much info? Like Bin Laden is hiding here…. National security issues. Freedom vs. order. D. What role should the press play? What role does it play? 1. watch-dog- monitor- if something goes wrong they let us know. “4 th branch of government” hold leaders accountable. 2. Lap dog- rely on each other. Press not critical enough. 3. Attack dog- not carefully assessing situation. Just jumps right in II. The News Media Industry: KNOW REGULATIONS A. What is news? “What newsmakers promote as timely, important, or interesting from which news organizations select, narrate, and package into information formats and that people consume.” B. Who “owns” the news? 1. Public ownership – gov owns it- taxes- BBC. 2. Non-profit ventures- public service 3. Private companies for profit- NBC, etc. C. The Effects of Private Ownership 1. Potential advantages- little regulation, more interesting 2. Potential disadvantages a. profit motive affects quality of programming b. profit leads media owners to acquire additional outlets. D. Government Regulation of the Media 1. Regulations on Ownership and Technical Matters a. The Communications Act of 1934 i. Created the FCC ii. Put limits on… # of frequencies available- how many stations, etc a single person/company can own. b. The Telecommunications Act of 1996: swept out most of these regulations and led to the age of mega mergers- AOL Time Warner 2. Regulations on Content a. The equal opportunities rule Provided that a station must make available an equal amount of time under the same conditions to all political candidates.
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b. The reasonable access rule Required stations to make their facilities available to conflicting views from all "responsible elements" in the community. III. Reporting the News
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Political Science 101 lectures pt 3 - Political Science 101...

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