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Week 3 Notes

by: Kayla Notetaker

Week 3 Notes COM 240

Kayla Notetaker
GPA 3.27

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About this Document

Hey everyone! This is the notes from Tuesday, 2/9/16 and Thursday, 2/11/16!
Mass Media of Communications
Ivan B. Dylko
Class Notes
Survey of Mass Communication, mass communication, notes, week 3
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Kayla Notetaker on Monday February 8, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to COM 240 at University at Buffalo taught by Ivan B. Dylko in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 59 views. For similar materials see Mass Media of Communications in Communication at University at Buffalo.


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Date Created: 02/08/16
Survey of Mass Communication   COM240      Tuesday­ 2/9/16:  → Agenda­Setting Theory:  ­Suggests that your list of the most important issues will be very similar to the list of the  issues most heavily covered by news media.    ● same issues and same rank of importance  ● Media’s issue agenda→ Audience’s issue agenda   ● News media do not influence what you think; they influence what you think about    Criticisms: correlation does not equal CAUSATION     Criticism 1:  ●  Media cover issues public is or will be interested in. Therefore, public agenda  influences media agenda.  ● Media → Public   Agenda Agenda  ←   Criticism 2:  ●  Too simplistic  ● Real World Events, policymakers, opinion leaders are all excluded  ● Media Agenda → Public Agenda  Criticism 3:  ●  customization reduces agenda­ setting power  ● RSS programs, news portals and even news media sites allow us to subscribe to  receive news on specific issues of interest. An example is google customizes  search results based on our interests. All of this reduces agenda­setting power of  media.  ● Media Agenda→ Public Agenda    → Priming Theory  ● When news content influences which criteria (or issues) are used to evaluate  politicians.  ● if (a) media largely determined which issues we treat as important (ex. agenda  setting theory) and (b) choice of issues determines which candidates we support,  then media indirectly (but strongly) influences which politicians we elect.         Causal Mechanism for Priming and Agenda­Setting Effects:  → ​ Recency and salience effect­ recent and most extensive experiences determine which  cognitions (bits of information) can become salient when we make evaluations/decisions.  ­Salient on top of all your thoughts; most important to you.    → Framing Research  ● News Frame: central organizing idea that provides meaning to an unfolding strip  of events, weaving a connection among them. Frames determine which parts of  reality get noticed.   (Help focus in on what’s important)  ● Frames influence how the audience interprets news events and what attitudes/  actions result from such interpretations.   ­ 1st Frame: drilling for oil a good economic policy  → Effect: reduced desire to curb oil drilling in order to protect the environment.   ­ 2nd Frame: using the term “gun violence” as opposed to simply “violence.”  → Effect: reduce the support for gun rights.    Entman Study: Korean and Iranian Airline Disasters­  → Two cases:  ● September 1, 1983, Soviet fighter plane shoots down KAL Flight 007 killing 269  passengers and crew members.  ● July 3, 1988, U.S. Navy Ship Shoots down Iran Air flight 655 killing 290 passengers  and crew members.  → In both cases, military officials identified a passenger plane as possibly a hostile  target; in both cases officials claimed the shooting was justifiable under the  circumstances.     Two Different Frames:  ­ “Deliberate Attack” or “Tragic Mistake”  Example: The way we look at certain situations such as hostage situations and war is  very different from how people who live in iraq look at the same situations.    → ​Frames in Today’s Policies:  ● Frames favoring liberal/democratic policies:  ­corporate welfare (not, tax subsides)  ­ Paying a fair share (not tax increase on the wealthy)  ­Pro­choice or women’s rights debate (not abortion debate)  ­Gun violence reduction or gun safety policies (not gun control policies)          ● Frames favoring conservative /republican policies:  ­Tax relief (not tax cuts)  ­violence (not gun violence)  ­Death tax (not inheritance tax)  Rights of the unborn debate (not abortion debate)      Media Bias:  → Horse Race Bias  ● reporters are suspicious of politicians, and thus focus on political strategies used  by campaigns.   ● readers are more interested in horse­ race coverage (covering election as a sport  boosts ratings/readership)  ● Horse­ race stories are easier to do for reporters (you just post the latest polls as  if it were sports game stats  ● Every public opinion poll can be turned into a story on a slow news day.  ● Every journalist understands what competition is, every election can be viewed as  a horse­ race.  ● Not many journalist understand intricacies of various complex policy issues.  ● In today’s media environment journalist have less time to focus on researching  complex issues. Thus they fall on familiar and “proven” story angle: horse­race.  Example: Jon Stewart’s America­Crossfire End    Thursday­ 2/11/16  → Bias towards objectivity (as opposed to accuracy):  ● giving equal space/ time to both sides of the debate on any given issue appears  fair.  ○ This is called objectivity.    ● MSM journalists strive to be objective.  → This is what journalism schools teach them to do.  → This provides journalist and MSM organizations “Cover”­ they can't be labeled  as biased by their readers, competitors, or individuals they report on.  Plus, calling oneself “objective” is a great brand­ management strategy­ you can appeal  to all segments of your audience.     → This is easy  ● writing that side A says, “X” and side B says “Y” is much easier than digging deep  to understand the issue and determining which side is correct.   ~What’s the problem with biased towards objectivity?   Example: Republicans say global warming is natural humans aren’t causing it,  while liberals/democrats are saying humans are causing it and we need to do something  to prevent it before it gets any worse!   → All scientists agree with and support the liberal/democrat point of view on global  warming.    → Partisan/Ideological Bias  ● Reporters act as news information gatekeepers.  ● Select which topics to cover and which to ignore (some topics help promote one  candidate more than the other, so reporters have power.)  Example: writing about health care+education you would be subconsciously helping  support liberal/democrat party.  ● Select “angle” for each story (ex. how to cover any particular topic)  ● Select which stories to interview and what ones to ignore.  → These decisions can be (either consciously or subconsciously) affected by reporters’  experiences, views and opinions.  *handout table 1.12 + 1.13    → Reporters and Partisan/ Ideological Bias  ­Somewhat more traditional news organization workers identify with democratic party  than the general population  ­Substantially fewer traditional news organization workers identify with Republican Party  than the general population.  ­ There are roughly twice as many traditional news organization executives who identify  with the Republican Party. The sameis true of traditional news organization staffers.    → Meta­analysis by D'Alessio and Allen 2000  ­Three forms of partisan bias examined =.  ● Gatekeeping bias: selecting stories that favor Republican Party vs. Democratic  Party.  ● Coverage Bias: amount of space/time given to coverage of Republican Party vs.  Democratic party  ● Statement Bias: statements by journalists that favor/ do not favor Republican vs.  Democratic Party.    Results: No statistically significant bias across various types of media and across  various election cycles.  ­very small coverage bias favoring Democrats in TV network news content.  ­very small coverage bias favoring Republicans in magazines news content.  Conclusion of the study: it is conservatives skewed perception of media content, not the  actual media content that is biased.    Digital Media Literacy:  Some tips for evaluating online information  → ASK: What’s the goal of the particular piece of content?  ­inform, entertain, persuade?  ­Is the goal clear (or clearly stated)?   ­Is the news article informing or is it also ideologically slanted (has a hidden agenda) and  trying to persuade you to support some political party?  ­Carefully examine what sources have a vested interest in saying particular things?  (Education department officials arguing how important education is, NRA arguing how  important guns are)?  ­Are these sources partisan or nonpartisan?  ­Are the sources of high quality (wikipedia articles, or unknown blogs vs. official  governmental reports or peer reviewed scientific studies)?  → Check “about us” page of the website  ● Sometimes, but not always it reveals the organization's goals, agenda, political  preferences, conflicts of interest, etc.  Does a particular online article have a date?  ­if not­ don’t trust information as it can be outdated.  Example: Some medical research or consumer studies information.    ­Blogs, wikis, discussion forums, twitter, facebook often spread misinformation (and  some people can convincingly present themselves as experts on those platforms.  ­Use This Journalistic Standard: Trust information only after having two high quality  sources confirm it!   


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