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POLS 112 Lecture Notes: Mass Media, Communication, and Political Consumption

by: Julia Gladding

POLS 112 Lecture Notes: Mass Media, Communication, and Political Consumption 8616

Marketplace > California State Polytechnic University > Political Science > 8616 > POLS 112 Lecture Notes Mass Media Communication and Political Consumption
Julia Gladding
Cal Poly
GPA 3.9
POLS 112- American and California Government
Michael Latner

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These are class notes from Wednesday, Jan. 28. We covered the vital role of the media in democracy as a linkage institution. We also covered the transition the role of the media has undergone in th...
POLS 112- American and California Government
Michael Latner
One Day of Notes
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This 4 page One Day of Notes was uploaded by Julia Gladding on Friday January 30, 2015. The One Day of Notes belongs to 8616 at California State Polytechnic University taught by Michael Latner in Winter2015. Since its upload, it has received 265 views. For similar materials see POLS 112- American and California Government in Political Science at California State Polytechnic University.

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Date Created: 01/30/15
Wednesday January 28 2015 POLS 112 Lecture Notes W 128 Mass Media Communication and Political Consumption The Media as a Political Institution Free Press and Democracy Mass media free press is a fundamental institution to democratic systems Free press is the ultimate check on authority We can hold them accountable through the media and get a new lead if we don t like them Linkage Institutions Principals and Agents linkage institutions carriers of information Political socialization Horizontal peertopeer Small social networks facetoface communication Once groups get beyond certain size use media to communicate with one another Limited in our ways to communicate without media technology Top down mobilization agenttopeer Governments provide information to citizens showing what they re doing Officials communicate to voters promoting themselves in order to get support mobilization Media is a market for the consumption of political goods Each candidate offering a set of goods policy platform Crucial for democracy Bottom up accountability peertoagent voters communicating their preferences to political authorities Wednesday January 28 2015 Crucial as well Rely on the media to know if politicians are doing what they say they are going to do implement their policy platform In order to hold authorities accountable arguably most important function of the media The only security of all is in a free press The force of public opinion cannot be resisted wen permitted freely to be expressed Thomas Jefferson The media is important Shifts of how people get information result of information technology Newspapers on the decline Still get news from news organizations but the way we get them is changing Advertisers switching to Internet because of ability for Internet to microtarget consumers Newspapers cannot microtarget News organizations survive or die based on their advertising because they operate in the market News goes where advertising goes Kaiser argues that newspapers are being devastated by the Internet and that s bad The Golden Age The big three CBS NBC ABC Kaiser offers it was unifying All covered the same news Not a lot of coverage goal to get as wide of an audience as possible The news was designed not to offend to keep from being seen as too partisan Downside of a monopolistic nonideological media they choose what counts as the news Press could keep information from the public about the government ie FDR s polio Kennedy s affairs Kaiser argues crucial events in the 1960s and 1970s Watergate and Vietnam changed the media Wednesday January 28 2015 The news industry embraced this role of being essential to democracy and went from reacting and describing the news to investigating Major turning point between the media and government Some might say this is a good thing that the press should have and adversarial relationship between the media and the government because the media is a watchdog Set up a new problem news agencies are not neutral have own political and revenue agendas The New Age Fragmented specialized media media more likely to microtarget their own audience than appeal to wide audiences People can only be exposed to news that caters to their political views Problems don t see other side amplifies differences divides people makes it harder to find collective solutions Conformity cost of coming up with a solution is higher in a more polarized society Media is not doing its main job of facilitating collective decisions ESPN sports FOX for conservative political news MSNBC for liberal political news Media Bias and Political Mobilization Is the media biased sensationalism bigger than it is violence death conflict sex gatekeeping what is covered vs what is not covered what counts as the news coverage what counts has to do with how much coverage a particular thing gets content actual attitudes or opinions that reporterjournalists have and advocating their particular personal opinion mainstream unwilling to hold views of small minorities conflict of interest don t want to upset their ownersadvertisers advertising slanting coverage that might lead people to buy certain products certainly to keep from hurting a product Wednesday January 28 2015 Corporate Media Habits and polarization political polarization the increasing difference in both the information people consume and their political ideology People who consider themselves strongly liberal have different news sources than people who consider themselves strongly cons People are getting fundamentally different information living in different worlds Not receiving the real complexity of the world then having to choose for themselves People most consistent in their views have the loudest voice True believers showing up at primaries electing more partisan officials Explains polarization in government Critics say polarization due to media fragmentation being at highest level since the Civil War is alarming People argue that with a fragmented media we are doing better as a democracy Most Americans are more open to criticism on both sides More information available than ever before Young people are more able to point out media bias and be critical of it because they grew up in a more complex environment More likely to use multiple sources of information than parents and grandparents Many argue it s good to have critical citizens


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