American Government Ch 10

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The news provides a refracted version of reality because it

emphasizes dramatic and compelling news stories.

In comparison with today’s newspapers, early American newspapers

could not have survived without political party support.

The technological change that brought about the decline of the partisan press was the

invention of the high-speed rotary press.

The yellow journalism of the late nineteenth century was characterized by

the emphasis on sensationalism as a way of selling newspapers.

Objective journalism is based on the idea that the reporter’s job is to

report the facts and cover alternative sides of a partisan debate.

The Communications Act

mposed on broadcasters an "equal time" restriction that prevented preference for some political candidates over others.

Which of the following is true of age differences in news consumption?

Age differences in news consumption shrink for Internet-based news but do not disappear.

The federal government’s licensing of broadcasting is based primarily on

the scarcity of broadcasting frequencies.

Most successful Internet blogs

have a liberal bias.

The term "framing" is used to describe

the process of selecting certain aspects of reality and making them the most salient part of the communication, thereby conveying a particular interpretation of a situation.

What is the "Rose Garden strategy"?

the presidential strategy of controlling communications by making nearly all pronouncements from the same location

The FCC’s equal time requirement

prohibits broadcasters from selling or giving time to political candidates and denying it to their opponents.

What development brought about a dramatic reduction in television’s capacity to generate an interest in news?

the rapid spread of cable

One of the reasons the reporting of national news is relatively uniform among news sources is that

a small number of news organizations and news services generate most of the news.

At which of the following times did the American media step back from their watchdog role?

after the September 11th terrorist attacks

How has the Internet affected the watchdog capacity of the media?

It has expanded the watchdog capacity of the media.

In contrast with European news media, American news media are more likely to

act primarily as neutral transmitters of information.

The media perform the signaling role by

informing the public of breaking events and new developments.

In terms of news consumption, since the 1980s young adults

have been less informed than older ones.

The news media’s common-carrier role is based on the idea that

the press should provide a channel through which political leaders can communicate their views to the public.

Which institution receives the most news coverage from the national press?

the presidency

The Watergate scandal illustrates the

power of the media to serve as watchdog to safeguard against abuses of power.

Agenda-setting is an action that falls under which of the major roles played by the press?


Which of the following is one of the two major advantages of journalists in covering the political game and strategic aspects of news instead of the policy frame?

The political game is a constant source of fresh material.

The reason the news product is designed to fascinate as well as to inform is because

news organizations are fundamentally businesses and must obtain revenue to survive.

On both radio and television, most successful partisan talk shows

have been hosted by conservatives

CNN and MSNBC have responded to Fox’s ratings success by

installing talk-show hosts with partisan or hard-edged appeals.

Which of the following statements is true?

Objective journalism is based on communication of facts and fairness.

The Gazette of the United States was founded to promote the policies of President

George Washington

One special contribution of Internet-based news is that it

provides the ordinary citizen with an opportunity to be part of the news system

Which newspaper was the first to reduce the price of a daily copy to a penny?

New York Sun

Yellow journalism contributed to public support for the

Spanish-American War

________ once said, "You furnish the pictures and I’ll furnish the war."

William Randolph Hearst

The traditional media have "softened" their news by

infusing it with more stories about celebrities, crime, and the like.

In the 1960s, presidential candidates

had longer sound bites, on average, in broadcast television newscasts.

Which of the following characteristics does the Internet have that traditional media lack?

the ability to allow readers to interact with news reporting

Which of the following statements has been shown by scholarly research to be true?

Network journalists tend to be negative.

On-the-scene coverage of a natural disaster is an example of the press’s role of


During what decade did the American news audience change from a growing to a shrinking one?

the 1980s

Among the following, the news media are usually guided by events that

are timely

Historically, the American press has shifted from

a political to a journalistic orientation

During the era of objective journalism, the commitment of newspapers to two-sided news reporting

did not extend to their editorializing

Which of the following does NPR serve as an example of?

the one true success story of public broadcasting

The "long tail" is a phenomenon related to

the rate of Internet news readership.

Explain the term partisan press. Why was it superseded by the objective press?

A partisan press is one that concentrates on advancing a particular ideological or partisan viewpoint. The American media, with few exceptions, no longer follows this pattern, although some European newspapers still do so. At one time, the American press was quite partisan. This situation changed with technological innovations such as the telegraph and rotary printing press, which changed the economics of American newspapers. Partly as a reaction against the excesses of yellow journalism, newspapers turned to the objective model of reporting, which concentrates on objective reporting of facts and reports on differing sides of controversial issues. They accomplished this in part by a direct company policy focus on objective reporting and a new focus on the professional ethics of objective journalism by journalism schools

Explain the four roles of the modern media

The modern media effectively perform four significant roles: those of signaler, common-carrier, watchdog, and partisan advocate. The signaling role requires the press to bring relevant events and problems into public view. In its common-carrier role, the press serves as a channel through which political leaders can address the public. The watchdog role requires the press to scrutinize official behavior and uncover evidence of deception, carelessness, or corruption. Finally, the press functions as a partisan advocate. Although the traditional media perform this function to a degree, the newer media (the talk shows and blogs) specialize in it.

What steps did the government have to take to regulate broadcast media, and why were those steps necessary?

The development of the broadcast media brought initial chaos primarily because nearby stations often used the same or adjacent radio frequencies, interfering with each other’s broadcasts. Congress passed the Communications Act, which regulated broadcasting and created the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to oversee the process. Broadcasters had to be licensed, and because the number of frequencies is limited, licensing required political impartiality. The Communications Act also contained an "equal time" provision, which prohibits broadcasters from selling or giving airtime to a political candidate without offering to sell or give an equal amount of airtime to other candidates for the same office.

How do the motivations of the press differ and often lead to a greater coverage of crime stories than the political process or world events?

The concern of the press is with the dramatic; it attempts to find and develop good stories. The press is not accountable to the public, but it does rely on revenue generated through advertising, and thus must attempt to maximize readership or viewership. The focus on crime stories increased in the early 1990s in an attempt to bolster sagging audiences.

Identify the factors that account for the relative uniformity in news reporting among major American news institutions.

A reason for the relative uniformity of news reporting is objective journalism, in which the emphasis on facts and salient events provides journalists with a basis for agreement. Put differently, because almost all journalists view the world and their job in roughly the same way, they tend to report the same things. Another reason for the lack of diversity in reporting is that a small number of news organizations generate most of the news. For example, the Associated Press (AP) wire service is the major source of national and international news for most newspapers. National networks tend to report the same stories and to agree on what are the most important aspects of those stories, and network correspondents cover the same beats and rely on many of the same sources, which leads them to report more or less the same things.

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