Comm162, Week 4 notes
Comm162, Week 4 notes Comm162
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This page Class Notes was uploaded by Erica Evans on Saturday January 30, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Comm162 at Stanford University taught by Shanto Iyengar in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 19 views. For similar materials see Campaigns, Voting, Media in Communication Studies at Stanford University.
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Date Created: 01/30/16
Comm162 Class 7 1272016 News Update Donald Trump refused to be in upcoming debate true to theory that those in the lead will pursue a closed media strategy Paper by Bennett Came up with the idea that journalists invariably rely on someone who has an official position Government officials are favored as journalistic sources Because the American tradition is rooted in idea of objectivity a good way to translate objectivity is to simply index the content of the report to the debate that is going on in Washington The debate that is going on in the elite strata will be re ected in reporting Point counterpoint reporting The problem is there is an open ow of information for domestic policies it is easy to assess Republican and Democratic position But for closed information policies this is not possible The information is not very easily accessible so the administration s view dominates Congress is clueless Sometimes when there is a threat or crisis like right after 911 there is an unwritten rule that congressional critics remain quiet avoid petty debate about the merits of a policy Everyone needs to show a united front When President Bush made all these claims about WMD s in Iraq under Hussein the public accepted all of these evidences Remember Vietnam the press was pretty much free to do what they pleased American correspondents followed around soldiers and filmed everything It was all shown on national television Post Vietnam the people in the Pentagon started regulating press coverage of military con ict and placed all these restrictions on war zones Today coverage is all orchestrated by spokespersons from the Pentagon Not even allowed to show coffins with American servicemen Indexing applies to reporting about policy but interpretive reporting is rising with campaign news Different models Adversarial vs deferential journalism market model mirror image New media Main storyline is polarization New media in contrast to old media provides consumers with control over what they consume In the past people were at the mercy of the editorial process because you only had a choice of 3 channels and the news was basically identical The effect was a cementing of public opinion like a unifying force Now we have thousands of news providers out there each with their niche audience even though the giant providers still dominate people select the content of news they want to encounter on a regular basis Information technology and political action IT has reduced the costs of coordinating political movements Not just campaigns but collective action in general like people in Egypt who wanted to overthrown Mubarak or the Blackberry riots in England customized news consumption On what basis might people make this selection Three general arguments about selectivity these people are interested in news b c they are political junkies and everyone else is looking for entertainment The people that know a lot will know more and others will know nothing The rich get richer idea if you have political preferences you will seek information that supports your party people are interested in specific policy areas People who own guns or are members of the NRA have an overriding interest in gun control etc There are compartmentalized areas of interest They just seek out information that applies to them Evidence of Polarization Early studies of web use found limited evidence of partisan fragmentation Study from 2000 participants given CDs with all the campaign materials of both Bush and Al Gore 2004 campaign survey data voters aware f both candidate s positions on Iraq outnumbered those only familiar with favored candidate s view Post2010 browsing studies Goel et al show some evidence of selectivity especially for news through social media but the evidence correlation is quite weak In the case of the blogosphere however there is no doubt that there is extreme polarization There are very few bloggers that are middle of the road and little crossover between two parties people are talked more about by blogs that hate them than blogs that support them 2010 study Sides et al People who read blogs are drawn from ideological extremes 94 are exposed to their preferred point of view A lot of them are activists There used to be less of an overlap between party ID and ideology Now the electorate has become completely sorted conservatives are republicans and liberals are democrats Social Media 2014 Pew research study 50 of Facebook users claim to have reposted a news story Facebook is now a major source of news A lot of people are redirected to news sites through social media About 70 of your friends on social media have the same political affiliation as you So your views will be inadvertently reinforced because you are surrounded by likeminded individuals Businessmen read the Wall Street Journal They do not read it because they are republican But there is a correlation between being a businessman and being conservative so more conservatives read the Wall Street Journal Implications of Selectivity Distribution of the web audience is not even the big providers aggregate attention Web traffic by subject matter Public affairs get very little attention Compared to pornography so depressing Audience demand is driving the web Online campaigns Ventura and Dean campaigns Ventura was the first candidate running for Gov of Minnesota to use technology Dean pioneered in 2004 fundraising online Dean was the frontrunning candidate until he lost Iowa His beginning success was really because of the effectiveness of his fundraising strategy Arab Spring Occupy Wall Street London riots all thanks to social media a problem in all social organizations You know that other people are going to show up to the protest so why go This problem also applies to voting we know plenty of other people will vote so we don t need to But social media lowers the because when an demonstration is taking place you have a live feed of information to assess the information YouTube is a huge game changer Don t have to pay for advertising New media and analytics are now central to the operation of a campaign Direct candidate to voter communication Candidates don39t need the press The votes of people over 55 are overrepresented than votes of younger people because old people are more likely to vote People 1824 are underrepresented If these more modern channels take off and become more effective at targeting young voters this could fix this age imbalance Comm162 Class 6 1252016 Local News If it bleeds it leads local news is invariably about crime especially violent crime 34 stories about crime in each local news cast Coverage is episodic about a particular case It is not an analysis of trends over time Injects racial stereotyping as well Professional norms and procedures have a key in uence on what makes it into the news What is considered There is a selection bias who decides to become a journalist Are they more liberal Underrepresentation of minorities in newsrooms reporters are assigned to report on a specific subject or location The golden trianglequot the area between the White House the State Dept and the Pentagon Deadlines Stories need to be written quickly or it s old news Reliance on authoritative sources 80 of the news we consume comes from government sources The bureau of labor statistics gives us information about unemployment Anyone quoted is probably a government employee Much easier for journalists to cover 3 or 4 candidates rather than 9 they try to winnow the field down there are leaders and there are followers There are high prestige outlets The NYT Washington post If the NYT puts something on the front page ABC CBS CNN will surely talk about that thing that night Applying theories of news to campaigns Iournalists want to be autonomous leads to adversarial coverage Iournalists don t want to let politicians define the agenda Combat storiesquot candidates vs journalists competing incentives This leads to punditry lots of mediation and commentary so the j ournalist s voice drives the news Market pressures elections are portrayed more like sporting events or soap operas quotCharacterquot much more important than policy Interpretive journalism 1988 is a key year a vivid exemplar of candidates manipulating the press Political group backing Bush Dukakis was leading and then this group ran the Willy Horton ad that had to do with the prison program in Massachusetts Horton got a weekend pass and then committed a violent crime The weekend pass policy is standard practice but this ad made everyone start thinking about crime and this swayed the election in favor of republicans who are seen as being tougher on crime journalists start analyzing and critiquing ads CNN was the first network to have a dedicated correspondent for factchecking How do political bloggers interact Are blogs more liberal or conservative Cyberbalkanization people are only exposed to news that they are already in agreement with They seek out sources that align with their opinions Analyzed 4O in uential blogs two months before the election Conservative bloggers cite each other more than liberal bloggers Very little Crossciting between conservative and liberal blogs Conservative bloggers were not echo chambersquot Many bloggers support their positions by criticizing the other party Conservatives and liberals focus on different issues focus on issues that they own There was no analysis of independent blogs though People have the ability to construct their own media environment This was not true in the old days People thought that the internet would lead to a huge diversity of perspectives but this didn t happen Now we have all these conservative and liberal bloggers but they hardly interact with each other E is central to political organization very old theory The information cost has been lowered with the web but this has not translated into wider points of view With the advent of the web this strain of democratic theory information costs was applied assuming 1 the web generates easily accessible content 2 because of this condition citizens will tend to get information from certain media outlets and their attention will be dispersed across all the different sources Citizens want political information but this might not necessarily be the case Political information and collective action may not be very closely related The web has an egalitarian structure Web structure matters how many sites you link to and how many sites link to you affects how easily your site amp your information can be reached The author chose 200 seed sites and looked at what they linked to How many of the links had information related to the seed site So the web is very big but the sites you can reach are very few because of the A few very big sites dominate the Internet The big providers the aggregators are where people are getting information It s not like there s a million points of View out there
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