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Topics on the Page
Overview of the Media in Politics
Theories of Mass Media
Corporate Control
Political Perspectives
Fake News

Screen Shot 2017-02-21 at 10.27.35 AM.pngThe Living Room Candidate: Presidential Campaign Commercials 1952-2016, Museum of the Moving Image

Overview of the Media in Politics

  • Communication that is accessible to large audiences
  • Can be in newspapers, the internet, news channels, radio, magazines, etc...
  • Mediated Culture
    pressroom.jpg
    President George W. Bush walks into a press conference, October 25, 2006
    • Sociology term
    • When the media creates the culture
  • Modern day America is constantly being shaped by the media
    • The radio, internet, television, and even advertising are almost unavoidable
  • This exposure to media shapes the way that people perceive and feel about issues
  • Relating to politics, the media helps the public learn about political parties, candidates, and platforms
    • Based on how these topics are portrayed, the public decides whether or not to support issues and politicians
Freedom of the Press Map, 2011.  Green=Free, Yellow=Partly Free, Red=Not Free
Freedom of the Press Map, 2011. Green=Free, Yellow=Partly Free, Red=Not Free


  • Newspapers, magazines, and radio were the most common forms of mass media in the past
    • Television and internet have recently become the most popular forms of mass media
    • In the 1960s and 1970s, televisions were less common in the average American's home
      • Families that did own televisions only had access to a few channels
    • Today, it is common for each home to own multiple televisions
      • Families have access to hundreds of channels daily
      • On each channel, the viewer is exposed to various content and advertising
      • This influence helps the viewer make decisions and form beliefs on a variety of topics
      • Information on endless topics is available in seconds

Theories of Mass Media
San_Mateo_Times_October_21,_1961_page_13.pdf.jpg
Front page of the San Mateo Times, October 21, 1961

  • Limited-effects theory
    • People will choose to read or watch sources that endorse what they already believe
    • Because of this, mass media does not have a large impact
    • Criticism:
      • Ignores media's role in creating and limiting the discussion of issues and topics
      • Created in the 1930s and 1940s, when the media was less readily available
  • Class-dominant theory
    • Media reflects the views and beliefs of the elite who control it
    • Because of this, mergers of media organizations should be avoided
    • When ownership is limited, only a select few control what the public sees or hear
    • Criticism:
      • Local news and media are not generally controlled by the elite
      • In the past, less powerful people had access to full stories
  • Culturalist theory
    • Combines the first two theories
    • People create their own meanings and beliefs out of the media they have received
    • Audience is active, not passive
    • Studies have shown that people interpret news based on their own experiences
    • People of different backgrounds will interpret the same story in different ways
    • The elite may have more control in the media's stories, but the personal interpretation and experiences of the audience shape those stories

Multimedia.pngDisney owns a significant portion of mass media in the US, and of course, one of their biggest consumers is children.

Click here for an article on other theories of mass media

Click here for a "MindMeister Map" on the mass media

Click here for a PBS site on mass media. Includes a section on how to read media and students thoughts on media.

Corporate Control of the Media


Click here for an article from Business Insider by Ashley Lutz. Article contains infographic that explains how the media is controlled by 6 corporations. Published June 14, 2012.

Six major corporations and some of their key media outlets
Six major corporations and some of their key media outlets
.

Click here for an article on how social media is starting to influence mass media

multicultural.pngClick here for an article on how social media has impacted the ever-growing Black Lives Matter movement

lessonplan.jpg
  • Click here for a lesson plan on mass media from iCivics
Political_cartoon_2_by_shan_wells.jpg
Political Cartoon, by Shan Wells

    • Click here for a New York Times learning unit on the influence of media
      • Click here for a lesson plan on evaluating the media from PBS.
        • Click here for a lesson plan on the ethics of journalism and mass media
          • Click here for a lesson plan on propaganda











external image Otero-Chart.jpg
This chart, while imperfect, attempts to categorize major news sources based on political bias and journalistic quality.

 IFLA infographic based on an article from FactCheck.org
IFLA infographic based on an article from FactCheck.org

Fake News


In the 2016 election cycle, "fake news" was a significant topic.
  • This story from NPR interviews a man who's job is writing up these fake news articles.


For more strategies, see Co-Constructing in the Democratic Teaching section of this wiki








Sources:
1. The Role and Influence of Mass Media. http://www.cliffsnotes.com/sciences/sociology/contemporary-mass-media/the-role-and-influence-of-mass-media
2. https://twitter.com/vlotero/status/808696317174288387