Media effects by slawrence


									Effects of the Media on Politics

 Symbiotic relationship between gov’t & the press: journalists need politicians to inform and entertain their audiences, and politicians need journalists for media exposure  What are the roles the media play?  **Gatekeeper: influence which subjects are of national importance, i.e. help to set the national agenda  Scorekeeper: keep track of, and help make, political reputations, e.g., importance tied to Iowa caucus; emphasis on “horse race” element of elections  Watchdog: scrutinize people, places & events (e.g., Watergate, Iran-Contra, Lewinsky, Plame); “Comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable”  How do the media impact the scope of government?  Watchdog function helps keep it small; attacks anyone  Focus on injustice encourages growth; gov’t responsible for everything  How do the media contribute to candidate-centered campaigns?  By focusing on candidate’s lives & background  By covering the candidates in a horserace fashion  Investigative reporting: focuses on individuals, scandals  Candidates can appeal directly to voters thru TV  By increasing the role of campaign consultants; instead of parties telling candidates what to say, media consultants report on findings of polls & focus groups & then tell candidates what to say; party influence is reduced  The White House manipulation of the media (How candidates use the media)  Image building: hiring consultants; TV debates that focus on individual appearance; getting on talk shows  Negative commercials  Leaking information  Staged media events & photo opportunities  Sound bites  Attention getting public appearances; focuses public’s attention on individual candidates

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