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Date Created: 02/02/16
Marisa Trant POS January 26, 2016 Study Guide Media & Politics Winning With the News Media book “Fairness & Balanced” Section 3 (p.281292) 1. Why were early newspapers “not fair and balanced”? The journalists who wrote the newspapers were trying to get people to agree with their personal opinions on things, rather than the facts. 2. How did economics force newspapers to be more concerned about fairness? The press began to play an important role in the news industry and forced the newspapers to tell the truth or they would become obsolete and discredited. 3. Why has the trend been to move away from fairness? Money profits have become the main priority in the newspaper industry and has forced many papers to move away from truth and accuracy to increase their profit. Many newspapers believe it is better to get their story out first rather than to have all of the facts. 4. Why has Congress regulated TV and radio more than the print media? Congress regulates TV so that they are able to keep track of what is being displayed. Most of the world is infatuated with TV and watches it much more than they read the newspaper or listen to the radio. It is more important for Congress to keep tabs on what is being broadcasted because of the number of people tuning in to watch certain channels. 5. Are fairness and equal time the same? To whom does equal time apply? How have networks avoided it in presidential debates? They are not the same thing. Equal time applies to a candidate who has been criticized over the radio or another medium. It means that the candidate who was criticized has equal time to reply. They have ignored it in presidential debates by having both parties agree to suspend it over the election for president. 6. How has Florida played a major role in the debate about equal space for newspapers? Florida was the first state to actually support and lead this act and helped get it approved. 7. What was the impact of strict rules about righttoreply and Equal time on broadcaster editorial endorsements and investigative reporting? This rule resulted in the loss of viewers for both TV and the radio. As a result, many new stations would not discuss the political debates or endorse the candidates to avoid this new act. 8. How has the definition of the “fairness doctrine” changed over time and why? In 1987 the act was repealed because instead of making the topics more broad for the media, it made it more narrow which resulted in the loss of viewers. This act was too strict and was not allowing TV or radio to cover everything they needed to. “Libel” Section 3 (p.293308) 1. What advantages do the media have in fighting a libel lawsuit? The media is very powerful and wealthy. If they are being sued for libel, you will need the best lawyer around and a lot of money to hire them. The media will also tear apart your entire life and if there is anything embarrassing or bad about your past, they will find it and will use it against you in court. 2. What is the difference between defamation and libel? Defamation is when something is spread about you that ruins your reputation and then it may become libel if there is no legal immunity. Libel is the invasion of your privacy. 3. What is “privilege” and how does it advantage the news media? If the damaging information comes from part of the governmental process, the news media has very little responsibility over that and the truth of it; that is privilege. This advantages the media because they can say anything bad about a congressman or senator and get away with it because it is “true” and it is very difficult to win a lawsuit against the media or the government. 4. What major changes in libel law were made in the New York Times Co. v Sullivan case? How does it advantage the news media over public officials? The media must be found guilty of reckless disregard for truth to be held accountable for a public official to sue for libel. The media no longer had to prove that their stories were true, but the victims of the story had to prove that they were false, if this was the case. It allows the media to get away with a lot more. The public officials may have to say things that they do not want anyone to know about them in order to prove that the story is indeed false. 4. What types of positions are now regarded as “public official” positions? An elected or appointed public official, a candidate for public office, a law enforcement officer, a public school teacher, a public health nurse, a private citizen or company hired to do work, or a private auditor hired to monitor government spending. 5. What types of proof are necessary to prove libel against a private person? You need to prove that the media said false things about you. 6. Why do tabloids concentrate on politicians, actors, athletes, and rock stars? Media tends to do more stories on celebrities and rock stars because they have more room for mistakes. They do not have to tell the absolute truth, as long as they are things that are made up. Society also wants to read about them so the media profits more by writing stories about them. 7. What did the 1996 Telecommunications Act say about libel suits on the Internet? It provides immunity from liability for providers of users who may post something that others have either written or published. “Privacy” Section 3 (p.331352) 1. How has modern technology made it easier for the media to intrude into private lives? It is very easy for the media to tap into people’s personal lives and to find embarrassing or detrimental things about people that may ruin someone’s life. People document everything they do in today’s world and it is very easy for the media to figure things out. 2. What protection does the Bill of Rights give citizens against unreasonable searches and seizures? This right protects citizens against government intrusion, but not media corporations or legal precedent. 3. What kinds of places can photographers shoot from without worry about being charged with invasion of a person’s privacy? A photographer can take photos of people in public places such as restaurants, parks, grocery stores, etc. They cannot take pictures of people from inside their houses because that would be an invasion of privacy. 4. What are the pros and cons of cameras in courtrooms? Cameras are allowed in court to ensure that the trial goes smoothly and is fair, however, the media is not allowed in the courtroom because they may serve as a distraction. 5. What are the “rules” about reporter & photographer entry into semipublic places? Semipublic places are privately owned but publicly open like restaurants and bars but the owners can ask you to leave. If you are making a big scene or are causing a disturbance then you can be kicked out. 6. What are the “rules” about reporter & photographer entry into private homes? The most private place is a person’s home. A reporter or photographer is not allowed to enter your home unless you invite them in. They are not allowed to trespass or stay if you ask them to leave. 7. Under what conditions is wiretapping legal? Illegal? What is meant by “personal privacy is the right to be left alone”? Wiretapping is no longer needed because of the technology we have today, but there are no laws or way of figuring out if our phones are indeed being tapped. You can record a conversation if both parties know the recording device is present. Eavesdropping is a criminal crime. Personal privacy means that someone cannot trespass or hide microphones or eavesdrop on you. If they do, they are breaking the law. 7. In general, how do juries differ from judges and law enforcement officials on what they regard as invasion of an individual’s privacy? Law enforcement officials will step in if the media is invading an individual’s privacy and may even arrest them. Judges and police do not view certain things as invading a person’s privacy because they may have had a warrant or were taping someone’s phone for the greater good. Juries are generally more harsh and think those things should be punished because they are looking from the person’s whose privacy was obstructed. 8. Review the concepts of libel and privacy (p. 380) Libel is invading someone’s privacy and privacy is the right someone has to keep some parts of their lives to themselves and only themselves. “Lawyers and Lawsuits” Section 1 (p.9198) 1. Why is there a disconnect between lawyers and media consultants when it comes to how to act in a crisis if you or your organization are the accused? Lawyers are trained to deal with legal issues in a court room. They will tell their client to say “no comment” and to not answer people’s questions. Although this can be useful for criminal cases, “no comment” means that you are hiding something in media terms. You are better off not getting a lawyer if you are dealing with a media crisis. You should also immediately tell the media if you are wrong so that they do not make your life hell, but lawyers never want to admit that their clients are guilty. 2. Why should the accused use the “no comment” approach when dealing with the news media? Under what conditions is that a particularly bad strategy? They should not use the “no comment” approach when dealing with the media because they take that as you saying you are guilty. The media will not stop until they have dug up every fact about your life. 3. Why do executives tend to pay more attention to their lawyers than to their media consultants? Lawyers have a huge leverage and will stand by you no matter what because you are paying them a large amount of money to support you. They will also never admit you are wrong, whereas a media consultant may try and use your story or things about your life to make them more money. “Ethics” Section 1 (p.4774) 1. When and why have news media ethics declined? There has been a shift over the past decade that focuses more on the money and getting the story out first rather than getting the facts of the story correct. News reporters will do anything to publish a story even if it means bending a few rules or stepping over a few people. America has also changed drastically and so have the traditions and virtues. 2. What are the major types of ethics violations that occur in the media? One type of ethics violations is the outtake ethic which is when the media will not publicize pictures or videos that were taken. Doctoring photographs or dramatizing pictures are also a huge issue. The television crew cannot ask protestors to reenact things that have already happened in order to create better footage. 3. Which groups have written Codes of Ethics for journalists (print and electronic)? There are two nationally endorsed codes of ethics for American journalists. One is written by the Society of Professional Journalists also known as Sigma Delta Chi and the other by the Radio Television News Directors Assn. 4. What was the issue in the famous Food Lion case? ABC sent undercover employees into the Food Lion meat market to see what they were really doing to their meat. The reports found out they were dipping tainted meat in bleach and re packaging it for sale. When Food Lion found out, they sued ABC for 5.5 million (later overturned) but everyone thought ABC was wrong for invading their privacy. 5. What are the primary ethical issues when it comes to reporters taking money or freebies or paying for interviews? Have these practices stopped? Reporters are supposed to be fair and tell both sides of the story, however, they are being biased towards the people who are giving them free season tickets for them to write a nice story about their facilities. These practices have become less frequent but many reporters still accept freebies. 6. How does the media generally react to requests to let those interviewed see the copy before it is printed, have questions in advance, and have them in writing? The media is required to directly quote a person they have interviewed but they will sometimes quote a person using two things they said at two different periods of time. They do not generally want the person to see the copy of the story before it is printed because it may not be exactly what they said but the media knows it is hard to prove that they are wrong. 7. What are the ethics regarding reporters’ and editors’ involvement in political activities? They should never pressure or sway someone to say or do something specifically for their story. They should always respect what the person says and should be professional at all times. 8. What broad categories of behavior are included in the two leading associations’ Codes of Ethics? Truth and Fairness are two broad categories that are frequently broken by the media. Truth and Fairness are mentioned throughout the text, however, the media does not follow these two codes very much anymore because the need for money is greater. “Ratings” Section 3 (p.353362) 1. What is the media’s most competitive industry? The media’s most competitive industry is other media companies! They are always in a race to see who gets out more ratings or who covers the top story first. 2. Why are ratings important? Ratings are important because they show how many people are watching your station. If you have little to no ratings, nobody is watching your channel and you will end up going out of business. If you have high ratings, everyone is watching you channel and you are making the most money. 3. What is a “spin off”? “hard rock” news? A spin off is a television show or movie made after a similar show that was very successful and made a huge profit. Hard rock news is when a anchor shouts the story similar to the beats of a rock song. 4. What is television’s most sought after “demo” and why? Television focuses on the 1849 year old age group because they spend the most money. It is important to know what demographic (demo) you are trying to advocate your object for because gender, race, and age plays a huge role. 5. Why are ad spots at the end of a long show or sporting event cheaper? Most people do not stay to watch what happens after the long show or event. Everyone is sitting down waiting for the game to start or for the halftime show, which is when ads are the most expensive. 6. What mediums do Nielsen and Arbitron rate? They watched how many people watched TV shows on the internet. 7. What are the four rating techniques used? The benefits and shortcomings of each? The four rating techniques used are Telephone surveys, Viewer, listener diaries, Electronic meters, and People meters. All of these techniques are used to measure different things. The shortcomings of them are that you cannot get a true reading. 8. What is the difference between rating and share? A rating is the percentage of homes watching or listening to a specific show. A share is the percentage of households with their sets on who were watching a particular program. 9. When do “the sweeps” take place and why are they important? The sweeps keep track of how many people are tuning into certain television channels and how the network is doing. “Selling Your Story” Section 1 (p.117132) 1. Why is it important to understand what news is if you want to get your candidate or story in the news? If you are trying to advocate your candidate, you need to research what television programs he would be accepted on. You also need to make his story interesting and you need to understand all aspects of media in order to successfully portray him/her. 2. What IS news? The 8 “compelling Cs”? News is what is different. The 8 compelling C’s are Catastrophe, Crisis, Conflict, Change, Crime, Corruption, Color (human interest), and Celebrities. 3. It is said that “conflict sells” but how is that impacting democracy? Conflict impacts democracy because it further separates society and pins people against one another. Democracy ignores how to solve conflict issues and becomes obsessive of them instead. 4. What are the down times in the media? How does that affect you getting a story in the newspaper? On TV? It is crucial that during downtimes for the newspaper or TV that you are already preparing for another news story or article. Down time is usually the period right after you have finished submitting something for the day and are waiting to post or research a story due the next day. 5. What is an embargoed story? Under what conditions is it generally done? This is a story that is requested by the source to be held until a later date. This is usual done if the story is the headline for the news tomorrow or on Monday and it is the weekend. 6. What is a “news peg” or “news hook”? These are the local angles the media will take when covering a national story. It is a reflexive response and if you’re the first to contact then your name will be published with the story. 7. What is a “stereotypical story” and what are some examples? These are stories that are very easy to sell and that are published all of the time and follow a similar story patter. For example, the media stations calling in The New Year. 8. Why is a hometown figure more believable than a national or state figure? A hometown figure is more believable because the people of that town confide in them more because they view them as similar to them. They are less likely to believe that they are lying because they are from the same background or town. 9. What is the organizational structure of a newspaper? A television or radio station? The organizational structure of a newspaper is the publisher, editor, managing editor, city editor, design editor, etc. The lead of a television or radio station will be the anchor. 10. What is the role of assignment editors? Producers? The editor of the assignment makes sure that the piece makes sense and covers all of the points before being published. A producer does the same job but in a different way. They will make sure that the person about to deliver the news broadcast knows what they are doing and will make sure they receive the correct lighting and signals. 11. What has happened to public affairs programs and why? They have slowly been replaced with more upbeat and interesting shows because they were boring and were losing viewers. CNN and the Sunday morning news still include information that they did, but they have been replaced. 12. Why should a candidate know about advertising data for local media? You need to know how many subscribers, watchers, and listeners tune in to certain channels so that you can advertise at the right time and in the right magazine or on the right channel. 13. How can candidates use local magazines? Association newsletters? Candidates may want to appeal to a younger crowd, they can research how many millennials are subscribed to a certain magazine and publish an ad in there. People are always looking to include newsletters and publish thousands of them a year. This would also be a great way to advocate for your candidate or a product. 14. What challenges does a candidate face when trying to get a good photo in the news? Getting a good photo that goes along with a story being published, makes the story. People in this day and age are very visual; They love pictures. It is very difficult to get a good picture and sometimes the media will make phony moves or pose things certain ways to capture something in a certain light. 15. How and why are different media competitive with each other? Every media channel wants the most ratings. Newspapers are beginning to become obsolete. They are trying to add new and fun things to the paper to keep up with the television who is trying to keep up with the Internet. It is a neverending battle between the different sources. “PIOs” Section 1 (p.111116) 1. What is the background and the job of the typical Public Information Officer? It depends on what the boss is looking for. Sometimes they want someone who has worked for the company before or has no prior experience The PIO will be the spokesperson for the organization and has to do a good job of representing the company. The boss also wants the PIO to keep the media at a distance. 2. What are the traits of effective PIOs? Good PIOs are bright, have good interpersonal skills, and have integrity. They are respected and trusted by their colleagues. 3. Where should the PIO be in an organization’s structure? The PIO is ranked fairly high because he is reporting directly to the CEO. 4. How does the job of a PIO differ in the public and private sectors? If you are working for a private sector, you may have to bend the truth in order to make your company look good because it could impact a lot of people. If you are in the public sector, you follow the same protocol but will be looking at things from a different perspective. 5. What role should a PIO play in a news conference called by an organization? They will chose the best place and time, alter the media and invite them to attend, make sure physical layout is good, provide handouts, explain any special ground rules, close the conference, and help set up individual interviews if needed. 6. How should PIOs build a good relationship with the media? PIOs need to spend time with the reporters and editors who will be covering their organization. It is important to create a friendly relationship with them so that you both make the company look good. “Ten Commandments” Section 1 (p.133152) 1. What are the 10 commandments a candidate or public official should adhere to when dealing with the news media? What works best when you are under attack? Be open and cooperative never lie; personalize the organization; develop media contacts; take good stories to the media; respond quickly; never say “no comment”; its OK to day “I don’t know” (but ill find out); if you screw up, confess and repeat; use the big dump; prepare, prepare, prepare. It is best to take a deep breath and to answer questions. 2. How do the news media set the issue agenda? Anything that the media brings to light that is seen as significant, is put on the agenda to be discussed later on and could possibly be made into a law. 3. What is a “kicker” and why is it used? The kicker is a good, sappy news story where someone may overcome something and will end the last story of the night on a good note. They are used to make the viewers forget the blood and pain they saw a few hours before and will be left with the image of American and how wonderful it is. 4. What should one do when reporters ask questions you shouldn’t answer? You can say “I’m not an expert in that area”, “I am not a professional in that area” or things like that to dodge a question but to not leave it openended. 5. Why should staffers be included in press conferences? It is helpful to include them incase they need to look anything up or are an expert in a certain area that you are not. 6. Why is there a disconnect between media consultants and lawyers? Lawyers have a different view on things than media consultants. Anything a lawyer says, should be ignored and you should do the opposite. Lawyers normally say “no comment” which makes the person look guilty.
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