[POLI 103] Comprehensive spring guide including any lecture notes, textbook notes and exam guides.find more resources at oneclass.com
Poli day 21 and 32 Notes on the Media
• The Media
o The mediating force between the government and American citizens.
o Politicians need media to get their word out, and the media needs politicians to
provide a constant supply of information for audiences.
o 1735 trial of Peter Zenger established legal precedent that if a newspaper prints
the truth it cannot be charged with libel.
o High ratings allow media companies to charge higher prices
o Broadcast Media and Cable have different regulations since you choose to pay for
o 3 main functions: Provides objective coverage to get at the truth and provide a
balanced discussion of issues presented, facilitating public debate, and serving as
government watch dog.
o Sometimes called 4 branch of government.
• Government Regulation of the Media
o The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) created in 1934 to regulate
electronic media by licensing and creating rules for broadcasters. (no authority
over print media).
▪ May revoke licenses or fine stations for violating rules. Backed by U.S
▪ FCC Equal Time Rule: demands that radio and TV stations sell equal
amounts of airtime to all political candidate’s ads and presidential airtime.
▪ 1950 Fairness Doctrine required broadcasters to allow time for public
affairs programming (ended in 1980s).
• Era of the Partisan Press
o Period characterized by newspapers supporting particular party (1789 to mid
1850s). Federalists vs anti feds over central government vs. state rights.
o Distribution made available by the Telegraph
• Electronic Media
o Invention of radio allows leaders instant/direct communication with citizens.
o 1926 National Broadcasting Company (NBC) provided the first network of radio
stations to a mass audience.
o 1930s FDR uses fireside chats to speak directly to public and explain New Deal
o WW2 Edward Murrow delivered live reports from London and in 1950s Joe
Payne hosted first political talk show.
o Television comes after WW2 NBC and CBS develop first evening news
programs. Presidential debates (especially 1960s) effected elections/opinions.
o Eisenhower was first president to hold regular news conferences.
• Print Media
o Recent decline due to electronic media,
o Many purchase news from a wire service like the Associated Press (the largest).
o MOSAIC (now Netscape) was first graphical internet browser in 1993
o Chat rooms, blog, forums etc. give commentary on the news.
find more resources at oneclass.com