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Lecture 16

Political Science 1020E - PS - Lecture 16.docx

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Western University
Political Science
Political Science 1020E
Peter Fragiskatos

PoliSci1020E January 10, 2012 Lecture 16 TOPIC News Media (Continued) and Political Parties  The limits of “news”  Political parties – power or principle?  The importance of leaders. News Media  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).  Marshall Mcluhan 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.  The Internet 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.  Alternative Media 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,, Democracy Now. POLITICAL PARTIES 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
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