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November 11, 2013 - The Media.docx

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Western University
Political Science
Political Science 2244E
Peter Scapillato

The Media *Look at 5 Pointz building. What is the media?  Etymology o Plural of Latin word “medium” – the means of communication.  The medium by which people get information. o Television, blogs, podcasts, etc. o Anything that communicates information to us; news. NEWS is actually an acronym: North, East, West, South. o Forms a connection between the public and the government. As technology improved, the connection between the government and the people would intensify – we expect a certain level of response and reporting. o These transitions have had profound affects on politics. Question with new media: Will it enhance or diminish democracy?  “New media” o on-demand access to information on digital media.  Media evolution alters connections between public and the government.  Newspaper o First form of mass media. o 19 century  Literate population.  Very cheap – a penny to buy. o Spanish-American War  “First media war”  Newspapers speculated and blamed Spain for ship sinking. It led to war some argue. o Advertisements  Newspapers both charged people to buy the paper, and charging advertisers to buy space. Because they were the only form of mass communication, it was a big business. Radio eventually posed a challenge, but never really competed with newspapers. Everyone could afford a newspaper.  Newspapers currently on the decline. o The Internet is used more now.  Benefits: Environmental, always up to date, much quicker and easy to link and explore. o Major cuts – all major newspapers approx.. 30% of staff. o Bankruptcy. o Advertisements now online.  Two major issues: o Origins v. “aftermarket”  Newspapers still do all initial reporting – this is where stories come from. We are taking advantage of the industry, but not giving anything back – exploiting. o Lost to the head.  Important stories will be lost. Newspapers always have both the hot stories and minor stories in the back – offered the whole package. Websites just provide what’s hot and quick. Important stories will be lost. Newspaper writers are selling their stories using a story-by-story basis.  Hope with GGN. o Website: Global Good News. Only reports on good news and stories.  Radio o 1920s o Roosevelt’s “Fireside Chat”  Many Americans heard the voice of their president for the first time ever.  First live connection, changing the relationship between the people and the president.  Set the president for what still exists: weekly speech from the president. o Live connection o Personal Presidency o Dies with television o Largely inconsequential today  15% of Americans use the radio for their major news source.  CBC Radio  Television o 1950s o Revolution in entertainment and politics o First televised press conference, JFK  January 1961. o Connection between public the government intensified. o Monopolized in its early stages: CBS and NBC were the only two networks at the time. It was very expensive to deploy a news team abroad. All major political stories would come from Washington – exact same coverage. The news always aired at 6 p.m. – very different from today. o Cable in 1980s, revolutionizing TV and breaking the monopoly. Cable shows and news stations emerged. The most famous was CNN in 1991, introducing a new model: 24-hour news cycle. Before this, news was only presented until 6 p.m.  Infotainment o Blurred line between news and entertainment.  E.g. Letterman, Colbert, etc. o The Daily Show  Perfects formula – news and entertainment. o On the rise as major news source.  Major news source for young people.  Movies *NOTE: LOOK AT ZIZEK: PERVERT’S GUIDE TO CINEMA o “Hold a mirror to society.”  E.g. Deep Impact, 2012, White House Down, District 9, Elysium.  Why were these movies important? The President in the movies are black for the first time ever. Early cultural acceptance of a black president (Obama was still in law school).  District 9 was a commentary on the divide that still exists between the whites and blacks following the Apartheid in South Africa.  Elysium is about the oppression of the 99%, illegal immigrants, access to health care, etc.  SEE SMURFS AS REFLECTION OF COMMUNISM. o Present, shape, share, and challenge.  People consciously and unconsciously make connections. o Indoctrinate, propaganda.  Rise of the New Media o On-demand access to information on digital devices o Rising and dominating o What does this mean? o Two scenarios  Good for democracy  Bad for democracy Good Bad Enhances democracy Three main arguments against new 1. Active vs. Passive: clicktivism media and its ability to enhance This refers to people actively democracy: engaging by clicking around and 1. Killing its life source. exploring. - Traditional media makes 2. Now HEAR this. important. 3. We’re all reporters. - Develops and spreads. Users and viewers can send it 2. New, but unheard. feedback, video clips, and pictures. - Only small group are read. This has the potential to change 3. Incubator for negativity. the political equilibrium in that - Lies, malice, and falsehood. when people actually see It is so easy to post something something can actually evoke offensive without it being checked. change. Hits home a lot more! Someone else then links it and - Global reach; un-missed stories forwards it, and it spreads. - Political equilibrium 4. More voices - Beyond pundits and elites More ways to voice opinions.
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