1The Media and Democratic Representation
How does the media affect democratic representation?
Everything is mediated by the media.
• The Murdoch scandal:
• The power of a media empire
• Traditional mass media filters and an informed public ( huge impact on how people were informed.)
–Concentration of ownership (When one cooperation owns many news papers, many media. They tend to filter
what is said to the public)
–Advertising filter (very big avertisers can have some say in what is portrayed and what is not portrayed in the
–News makers (places where the news is made the white house) They give out their own news everyday.
Don’t have time to check the sources so they just use the wite house.
–News shapers (experts are asked to come on and talk about things) most experts come from a certain point
of view, do not get experts from a different point of view.
• Campaigns and traditional mass media
–Difference between PR and SMP
SMP – traditional media tends to portray the election as a horse race. Constantly on each turn of the track
deciding by polls how that is going to work out. More focus on the leader.
PR parties that are, every vote counts. Isnt that kind of race. more focus on policy.
How eletral systems can shape how these are run.
–More policy substance in PR
•Potential for coalition, consensus since no wasted votes
•Regulations mean less advertising in PR , usually is demanded that the public broadcaster provides time.
Doesn’t depend on parties wealth.
–In SMP/FPP advertising is key ingredient as the ‘race’ is winnertakeall
•Need to project an image
•Seeking ‘entertainment’ value of coverage to attract viewers, hence, advertisers (you are a product as a
viewer, you are being delivered to the advertiser)
•Demand for 30 second soundbites
•The horse race (good way the media can keep interest! To sell us to those advertisers)
–Media’s use of political polls
–Trade off between reporters and politicians (reporters need news, reporters need stories) They make friends
with the politician, “they wont bite the hand that feeds you”
•The election tour
–The permanent campaign (article!)
• The fact that you have negative adds inside a campaign and you have polling all the time makes it
into a permanent campaign. IT NEVER STOPS horse race all the time – what it does? People are
focused on the race and not the policy. This tit for tat going on.
TERMS FOR THE FINAL EXAM.
• Agenda setting
–Relative importance the media gives an issue as well as the frequency by which it does so
They can decide what is headlined. What theyre going to put first. That’s what people put attention to.
–Altering the weight that is given to some aspect of the story over a period of time in order to prime the public
to evaluate on those criteria
–Example of priming is giving more weight to evaluation of leaders rather than parties and issues
Trying to get people to focus on one part of the issue. You are altering the weight that is being given to the one
part. And prime people to focus on that one part of those terms.
Ex. conectrating on leader, keeping us away from policies .
• News frames, framing
–Media chooses how the issue will be presented
–The game frame is commonly used for election coverage, the campaign portrayed as a horse race, strategic
battle, strategic game
Choose how the issue will be presented.
• How the media sets agendas, primes and frames issues has a gendered aspect and negatively affects women
in 2000 election in Canada
–Agenda setting: woman leader not in the headlines, feature stories Alexa Mcdunna never made
headlines. Is there a gender bias? Is there a problem as seeing a woman as a
–Framing: the game frame during elections is based on masculine realm, must play the game like a man but is
criticized for doing so (Difficult for women to make it through the campaign, BUT theyre
criticized when they do it) Alexa Mcdunna is seen as too aggressive.
–Priming: primed soft journalism stories for woman leader Alexa McDunna gets portrayed in this
soft journalism. PROBLEM because it is saying that she is not in the game, it is
putting her somewhere else.
8 Internet Politics and Social Media • Internet
and democracy inextricably linked? Utopian ideas,
and dystopian ideas of what the media
Radio became only something to receive.
Global village – don’t mean global
understanding , its global gossip.
–Benefit to voters?
•Access to politics for new generation of voters (Narrow casting becomes prevalent in tv)
•Groups dedicated to political issues (Little
restriction on internet. It is not limited.)
Benefit to parties?
•Low cost campaigning
•Readymade database, fundraising potential
• Does it change power structures?