PoliSci1020E January 10, 2012
News Media (Continued) and Political Parties
The limits of “news”
Political parties – power or principle?
The importance of leaders.
There is still a chance that newspapers will cover the true facts.
o E.g. The Globe and Mail, The Guardian, The New York Times, Le Monde
What is the problem (in Canada)? Most Canadians get their news from T.V. (over 50%).
Television news doesn’t have much substance – it provides a basic overview.
Furthermore, context is missing.
Problems in the newspaper(s): In the news section, the average news story is approx.
1000 words. Opinion pieces have an even lower word count.
As a result of newsprint costs, newspapers have been forced to decrease the size of their
newspapers, and therefore shorten the length of their stories. In addition, there has been
an effort to make newspapers more reader-friendly (e.g. larger font size).
o States that watching television affects our reading abilities (our eyeballs are not
going side-to-side and as a result, the eye muscles are not getting enough
exercise). As a result, there is a decline in reading.
Thus, editors feel the need to form short stories so that people will not devote their
attention somewhere else.
o A possible solution.
o There is a lot more room online and there are no newsprint costs; more context.
o Also, the internet provides more options for news.
o However, like television, also affected by infotainment.
o Inspired by Chompskey and Herman’s arguments – the propaganda model.
o Focuses on providing a news source unaffected by propaganda and biases.
o E.g. ZNet, Common Dreams, rabble.ca, Democracy Now.
Communism Socialism Reform Liberalism Classical Liberalism Conservatism Fascism
Left and Right Wings
Rooted in the French Revolution where those who opposed authority sat on the left side
of the assembly, and those in favour sat on the right.
What is a political party?
A political party is a group organized to gain control of government in the name of the
group by winning election to public office.
Parties differ from other actors in the political scene. Politics is like a stage/theatre.
Social movements, lab