Political Science 222 lecture 14.docx Mass Media Effects

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Political Science 222
March 15, 2012
Lecture 14: Mass Media Effects
Watched 2 television clips
First, Hilary Clinton and her response to the 2008 election, she cried and spoke how she wants
the best for the US. It was very sad but to me looked very fake
The second video was an opinion talk between a few recognized political people, they were
critiquing her response, some said she was fake crying, others were sympathetic to her
How did your opinion on her change?
What does it mean for media to have an independent role?
Key questions in the study of media
o How do you find media effects?
o Possible types of effects?
o What role do the media have on the formation of public opinion?
o Do these effects degrade?
o Is everyone affected by media in the same way?
o If is it is dependent on is someone listening, Is it correct to think of it as one public?
o Do these messages challenge what you think?
o Does it condition the way people take in media?
To get a media effect you cant just study a theory
o You have to have a theory of public opinion
o You have to have a theory about how it is people take in information
o How they understand that info?
o And how that helps them think?
What is the history of thought in the media effect?
o With the derives of broadcast journalism,
o Early 1950’s, media doesn’t have much of an effect
o General findings with everyone in this room, post political info people are inattentive
or don’t care
Conclusion for media studies about politics
o It is very marginal in the field
o There is a growing awakening in the 1980s by scholars
o In voting studies very notable (Bartels, 1980)
If media effects aren’t there then why so much attention by political staff
o Why it’s hard?
Effect of media vs the effect of the event itself
Need better theories about how people digest political info
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