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Mass Media and the Internet in the United States


agenda setting

process by which the media determines what issues people think about and are concerned about

Children's Internet Protection Act

law that requires schools or libraries that receive Internet discounts through a federal program to have a certified Internet safety policy


intentionally false statements about a person, whether spoken or written, made with the knowledge that the statements will harm the reputation of the subject of those statements

echo chamber

situation in which certain ideas and beliefs are reinforced through repetition and without the inclusion of competing ideas

equal-time rule

federal requirement that media outlets provide an equal amount of airtime to all major candidates for political office during an election campaign

fairness doctrine

FCC rule enforced from 1949 to 1987 requiring radio and television broadcasters, all of whom are licensed by the FCC, to provide fair and balanced coverage of all controversial subjects, devoting equal airtime to opposing views

Federal Communications Commission (FCC)

independent agency that regulates communications by radio, television, wire, satellite, and cable (broadcast media)

filter bubble

viewpoint isolation a person can experience based on their Internet browsing and device history and social media connections

fireside chat

one of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's periodic national radio talks


media practice of focusing on certain details of a news story to tell it in a specific manner to the news audience


defamatory statements made in writing


journalism that chronicles detailed accounts of political and economic corruption

net neutrality

principle that Internet service providers should provide equal treatment to all Internet sites and services regardless of the amount of bandwidth they consume

partisan press

media outlets that openly support a political party or cause

shield law

provision that protects journalists from being forced to reveal confidential sources


defamatory statements made orally

social media

online communication options that enable users to share ideas and information with their social networks

yellow journalism

sensationalized news placed in a newspaper to attract readers and increase circulation