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American Government and Organization. PS1301 Monday, 24 November. Quiz. Give two examples of how the media can have an influence on public opinion. What is news?. Conflict Wars, fires, heated debates, scandals Proximity Pack journalism Television, splashy video. Ideological Bias. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • American Government and OrganizationPS1301Monday, 24 November

  • QuizGive two examples of how the media can have an influence on public opinion.

  • What is news?ConflictWars, fires, heated debates, scandals ProximityPack journalismTelevision, splashy video

  • Ideological BiasPolls show that roughly half of all Americans believe the news media are ideologically biased Most complaints accuse journalists of a liberal bias The claim that the media promote liberal causes and undermine conservative ones might seem odd. After all, three times in the 1980s and once again in 2000, the American public elected a conservative candidate president; conservative hosts, as we have seen, dominate talk radio; and Bill Clinton certainly received considerable negative news coverage.

  • Coverage of Bush and Clinton

  • Campaign CoverageHorse RacePhoto opsSound bitesElection Night 2000 debacleThe role of the VNSWhen Americans were asked to grade coverage of the 2000 campaign, 69 percent gave it a grade of C or lower.

  • Attention to News and Bush Approval Prior to 9/11Source: Pew Research Center For The People & The Press, 15 July 2001

  • Approaches to Studying Media EffectsPublic Opinion Surveys*ExperimentsCompare aggregate opinion data and media content (content analysis)*Merging of content data with survey data (for each individual)

  • Attention to News and Bush Approval September 6 Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling his job as president? Source: Pew Research Center For The People & The Press, 6 September 2001

  • Attention to news and Bush Approval After 9/11Source: Pew Research Center For The People & The Press, 19 September 2001

  • Media EffectsSelective perceptionPeople often see the same events differently; recall the role of party id.Political debates are often assumed to be influential but they rarely change minds.

  • Influence of Political Debates"Bush. Al Gore was over rehearsed, mechanical, arrogant, condescending and fake. Bush was relaxed, confident, Presidential and on top of the issues. To everything, Gore had a memorized verse that he repeated over and over. The man was so afraid that he had to insist on getting the last word on all issues. Bush demonstrated that he is ready and better qualified than Gore to be our President." -Delton Price / Vacaville, CA "Gore. I thought Al Gore was much more presidential, and more in touch with the average person." -Cheryl Maddox / Sonora, CA "Bush. Who cares? It was a liar debating an idiot - the only difference being, the idiot wants to leave you alone, while the liar thinks he can run your life for you better than you can. I'd give the edge to Bush. " -Ken Mitchell / Citrus Heights, CA

  • Learning from Political DebatesSource: Annenberg 2000 Survey

  • Learning from Political DebatesSource: Annenberg 2000 Survey

  • Learning from Political DebatesSource: Annenberg 2000 Survey

  • Issue AdsImportant to differentiate candidate-centered issue ads from legislation-centered ones.Legislative issue ads (also called pure issue ads) are advertisements directed at the public, legislators, or agencies in hope of swaying opinions on matters of policy, law, or regulation.Candidate-centered issue ads implicitly advocate for or against a candidate running for office in the context of an election.

  • Frequency of Issue AdsIt is estimated that over $105 million was spent on print and television issue advertising inside the beltway during the 107th Congress (Annenberg Study).These ads were sponsored by over 670 different organizations and coalitions.A few big spenders accounted for most of the dollars spent, with over half of all money coming from the 20 largest spenders.Business interests outspent other interests. About 72% of organizations (18 of 25) represented business interests.

  • Example of an Issue Ad

  • Example of Issue Ad

  • What is the hypothesis?Dependent and independent variables?How do we read the table?Sum along categories of the independent variables, interested in how the distribution of the dependent variable varies across categories of the independent variable.

    What are some problems with this?Think back to the criteria for establishing causation? Timing a happens before b; covariation; rival hypothesis?Can we be sure that news viewing is causing disapproval or approval of Bush.This table looks similar? What would we expect to happen after September 11?


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