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Lecture 5

PSC 101 Lecture 5: Role of The Media

Political Science
Course Code
PSC 101
Stephanie Paul

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Role of the Media
How does the mainstream news media work:
1. Organization of the News Media
Corporate ownership
Dominated by a few companies
Is media a monopoly a problem?
Uniformity or diversity?
Do a large number of media outlets equal a larger quantity of news?
Profit motives
Sensation over substance
2. Political Newsmaking
Limited geography of political (national) news
DC and NYC
Dependence on official sources
Beats and new-gathering routines
Press conferences and press releases
Government news management
i.e. ‘Take out the trash day’
Episodic foreign coverage
Collaboration among journalists
Again: journalism is objective
Interpretation by pundits
Or commentary
3. Is the News Biased?
Liberal reporters
More liberal than population
Commitment to objective journalism
Ideological Orientation of news media owners
Conservative and Republican
Real and biggest biases: profit motives
4. Prevailing Themes in Political News
Pro-American point of view
American interests and concerns
Approval of the American economic system
Limited, fragmented, and/or incoherent political information
Prevailing technology
Organization or news gathering
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