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Unformatted text preview: Chapter 4- The Information Function (Mediating Reality) -Information vs. America's Media -Impact on American culture, society, politics, and dieting behaviors -Political impact -2004 Howard Dean Campaign crushed after Iowa caucuses because of Letterman and Leno -2000 Electoral dispute between Bush and Gore of who won Florida -Radio -Boosting Ross Perot and Bill Clinton -Howard Stern took credit for election outcomes of New York and New Jersey Governors -Americans obtain more written and visual information than ever before -Most important function of mass communications: providing information -Why do some news stories reported by the media have instantaneous and dramatic impact while others have little or no impact? -Why do stories broadcast by one medium have more impact than those published by another? -Where are Americans getting their information? -Media, News, and the Public -42% of Americans get information concerning presidential elections from local television -13% get their information from the Internet -30% get their information from late night comedy shows (snl, etc) -23% get their information from the nightly news -38% get their information from cable news networks -Sometimes in cases of extreme emergencies, television suspends commercials, newspapers produce extra long editions, etc. -Example: September 11th -Characteristics of Mass Communications -Mass media is commercial (unlike other forms of communication) -The Audience -Large -Television sets, radios, newspapers, magazines, books -Anonymous -Producers don't know who is watching, listening, or reading -Heterogeneous -People of different ages and educational and socio-economic levels watch, listen, or read mass media information -The Message -Simple -Fraction of selection: producers of information should make consumption of information as easy as possible -Expectation of reward Effort Required -Transient -Composed of short-lived messages meant to be consumed immediately because they are usually useful only for the moment -Transmitted rapidly -Information travels quickly and often at the same time -Limited to time and space -Page limits, character limits, time limits -The Source -Sources of mass media messages must be organizational or institutional because sending messages is costly and complex -What Messages Do Impersonal Organizations Disseminate to Their Audiences? -News as Information -Core of mass communication's information function -News- report of what is happening now, a report of anything of interest to a large number of people -Gatekeepers- people who control the flow of information to other, selecting what is important and what will be discarded -Bernard Cohen and the concept of agenda setting -The Press and Foreign Policy -"The press may not be successful much of the time I n telling people what to think, but it is stunningly successful in telling its readers what to think about" -Agenda setters (ex: Maxwell E. McCombs and Donald Shaw) process at three levels -Creates awareness -Establishes priorities -Perpetuates issues -Characteristics of News -News judgment- understanding of what is newsworthy -Process of selecting and grading news and visuals to determine if they should be used, if they should be used in part or full, and where they should be used ...
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- Fall '08