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POL 106 Study Guide - Final Guide: Yellow Journalism, Voting Rights Act Of 1965, National Governors Association

Politics and Government
Course Code
POL 106
Katelyn Schachtschneider
Study Guide

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(Weeks 12-16, chapters 11, 12, 13, 15)
*NOTE: Not everything on this study guide will be on the exam and not everything
on the exam is on this study guide. This study guide is exactly that, a guide.
1) What is mass media?
The means by which information is transmitted to a large population
across a large region
i. Tv
ii. Radio
iii. Magazines
iv. Newspaper
v. Internet
2) What is the marketplace of ideas?
The concept that ideas and theories compete for acceptance among the
public, allowing for public debate and heightened awareness
3) Understand the transition and growth of mass media outlets over time.
Growth and transition
i. Print
ii. Electronic media
ii.1. Radio
ii.2. Tv
ii.3. Internet
4) What are the different functions of the media?
Inform current events and opinion
Surveillance, interpretation, socialization
i. Watch dog function
i.1. Holding government accountable for wrongdoings
i.2. Help ratings
ii. Serve as accomplice
ii.1. Work to push what the government actually wants people
to see
iii. Force government to do something about a particular issue they
perceive to be important
5) What is the beat system?
Media operates according to a beat system
Same story, reported in different ways
Reason most stories are similar in the news
Telephone game
Them covering particular issue areas or political and governmental
i. Most covered – white house
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Beat – issue or an institution
Leads to a does not encourage investigating journalism
i. Media coverage that is broad and not high selective
ii. Reduces variety in news coverage
Because everyone is covering the same beat
6) What is investigative reporting?
Reports thoroughl investigate a subject matter (often involving a scandal)
to inform the public, correct an injustice, or expose an abuse
How has investigative reporting and how has it changed recently?
i. Not nearly as popular as it was
ii. Used to be more in depth
iii. Now they try to just get the nuts and bolts so they can be the first
source you see
7) Define muckraking.
Investigating and exposing societal ills such as corruption in politics or
abuses in business
8) What is the Equal Time Rule?
An FCC rule requiring the broadcast media to offer all major candidates
competing for a political office equal airtime
9) What are press releases and news briefings?
Press releases
i. Written statements that are given to the press to circulate
information or an announcement
News briefings
i. A public appearance by a government official for the purpose of
releasing information to the press
10) What is parachute journalism?
Investigating reporters go to other countries and get coverage on a story
Why is it problematic?
i. Do not stay long enough to actually understand the context and
other details that could have been discovered if stayed longer and
did more research
11) What is citizen journalism?
Non-professional members of the public who are involved in the
collection, reporting, commenting, and dissemination of news stories
Why is it problematic?
i. Usually not reporting facts
ii. Huge game of telephone
iii. Not credible
iv. Works can be distorted or misinterpreted
v. Give society misconceptions about what’s going on
12) What is narrowcasting? What are some examples?
i. Creating and broadcasting highly specialized programming that is
designed to appeal to a specific subgroup rather than to the general
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i. Chicago news covering things such as crime, shootings, etc.
13) Define interest groups
Groups and organizations that try to shape governmental policy without
actually running for government
i. A group of like-minded individuals who band together to influence
public policy, public opinion, or governmental officials
i. Educate public
ii. Build agendas
iii. Serve as government watchdog
iv. Represent constituents
v. Means of political participation
14) How/when do they tend to form? Think differences regarding periods of stability
and periods of instability.
Tend to form during periods of political/economic instability
Form in waves
i. In response to key events
15) What are social movements?
The mobilization of broad-based private groups, usually around shared
concerns or grievances related to public policy on a specific issue and a
desire to alter the policy through mass pressure
What are some of the key defining characteristics of social movements?
i. Form when people perceive that the status quo is not acceptable
ii. Short lived
iii. Involve thousands/millions of people
iv. Involve large number of interest groups
v. Change how people think about a specific issue
16) Understand the life cycle tendencies of social movements and interest groups.
Social movements
i. Short life spans
ii. Start as highly visible and potentially influential but wither away
as issue dies
Interest groups
i. Surviving groups experience longer life cycle
i.1. More structured
i.2. Become less specific
i.3. Lose strength
ii. In formative stage
ii.1. Informally structured
ii.2. Non-bureaucratic
17) What are challenging groups?
New interest groups
Groups wherein leaders and followers are unhappy with things as they are
Change oriented, challenge the status quo
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