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COMPLETE Survey of Mass Communication Notes - Part 4 (got a 90% in the course)

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COMM 1020
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9/17/13 Lecture 4 Media Environments and Democratic Politics Media in Democracy • Media, particularly news media, is cornerstone for civilized democracy • Democracy is founded on: o Capitalism o Freedom of speech o Right to vote  Government ruled by the people for the people • In order to vote and exercise right, you need to be informed • Role of media in democracy forms people’s decision on voting and issues that affect citizens…media’s role is to INFORM the public o Democracy requires an “informed citizenry”  Media is known as the “Fourth Estate” (mechanism of political power, even though it is not recognized as a legitimate branch of government) and is another element of the check and balance system  watchdog of the government to inform the citizens and checks power of other three branches and makes sure people are involved in the process What is “News”? • News is not an event itself, but the report of an event • Expectation of objectivity in the news – no bias o Person making report of an event, in theory, will present news to public without personal opinion • Newspapers/press was actually based on the LACK of objectivity o Very partisan and opinionated • Early newspapers were: o More like personal narratives o Usually owned by individual white men who published and edited it  One or two other male reporters working under him • Since they own the newspaper, they had no problem with newspapers being a partisan thing  free speech! o Based on advertising revenue o Local news o Print entire speech or bill • Shifted with telegraph because could report about things that happen in other parts of the country quickly • Objectivity developed later when styles of newspapers changed o Thought they could make more money making papers that were less partisan because more people were likely to read it  Gradually started moving away from partisanship • Class to mass medium o Was respectable because you got both sides of a story • Factors of “newsworthiness” o Impact – will this change anything? o Bizarreness o Relevance – is that impact relevant to other events happening around us? o Recent o Prominence – public figure/celebrity o Geography – local and regional news o Conf
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