Having public media is beneficial to a lot of people. In fact 170 million or so they say…
I think public media is necessary for a community to be properly informed for the simple fact that so many people use it. Also this question is a little tricky. What does it mean for a community to be properly informed? Is public radio reaching a major amount of people? I believe it is . They have almost 3 million facebook followers. CNN and Fox News have close to that number as well. So people are listening and watching. Are they being properly informed is a different subject all together. This is a circular argument that will not get resolved. I think the question we need to ask here is is public media effective? And my answer is yes.
The most interesting part of Comm 4473 was the study of late-night satire. I found the subject to be of particular interest and relevance to the class and our age group as a whole. Because of the tendency the young adults to rely on sources such as Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewarts’ satirical late night shows to obtain political information, it was interesting to learn of the implications that come with depending on these sources for politics.
Not only do these political shows allow young adults to gain political news in a new and more appealing way, they also challenge the traditions of popular TV and news outlets. Additionally, we are challenged and encouraged to learn more about politics by taking in political information from these sources. One piece of media that stood out to me over the course of the semester was that of Jon Stewart featured on the CNN show, Crossfire, where he challenged the hosts and their presentation of politics and news.
Having viewed this in a previous political science class, it was interesting to see it tied back to communication and analyzed through its purposes of questioning popular political news and media.
Not the most boring but perhaps an unnecessary aspect of the course was the focus on the presidential election of 1960. While a very important part of the changes that have taken place in political communication history and one with a profound impact, it is a topic that was a little redundant to me. This particular election and its debates have been poured over in previous and current communication and political science courses that I have taken. While I understand its importance and relevance to the course, I feel that the reading of The Making of the President and subsequent presentations were too extensive coverage of the topic.
Overall, I feel that the past changes in political communication deserves recognition and complete understanding, but a less extensive overview of historical events could be minimized. Lastly, a focus on issues that are up-and-coming and those that are exploding onto the political communication scene are the most interesting and relevant to the course.
I write this post with ironic timing. Obama has just completed his speech about bin Laden’s death and the Twitterverse has exploded with speculation and excitement over the news. Fox News even jumped the gun and posted misspelled information to be above the action.
Political Communication 4473 has really made stop and realize how I get my news and on a night like tonight, I appreciate that insight. From receiving a text message to turn on CNN to immediately turning to Twitter as we awaited Obama’s speech, my world is full of new media interaction. This class has helped me appreciate that I live in 2011 and not 1960. I can choose which mediums I want to select for news (and have become a more active Daily Show viewer!).
As with many of my classmates, I agree that the most interesting part of the class was the coverage of the 1960’s campaign of Nixon v. Kennedy and The Selling of the President in the 1968 election. It was interesting to see how much television changed the political environment of the time. I had always heard about these debates, but to see them (especially on YouTube) was eye-opening. You really can see the difference between the two candidates – I appreciate that I know the history behind it and Nixon’s sickness and knee injuries. I feel like I can have more informed discussions. I am extremely interested in working on political campaigns someday and will keep my copy of The Selling of the President for a future career.
The least interesting part of the class would have to be reviewing the Graber book. I really liked all the articles, but when it was the only thing we did in class, it seemed repetitive and boring. I did appreciate when Professor Houston added YouTube clips, etc. to enhance the articles, but the days we left class early were boring. It was great to have a break (amidst all the craziness of this semester), but I appreciated when we went deeper into discussion beyond the articles in the books. Really, though, I have enjoyed this semester immensely. When I tweet now, I try and tweet with more purpose and newsworthiness! Thank you, Professor Houston!
Ever since the advent of news and media, people have been able to choose to get their political information and news in general wherever they wanted. There are many outlets out there for people to choose from and each media outlet has their own spin on how the news is told and their viewpoints and opinions on these news stories and analysis are totally different.
I personally believe it is not a great thing that Democrats and Republicans get their news from separate places. Each of these different news outlets provide in my opinion a biased opinion and/or spin on a news story. I feel as though having only one side of an opinion isn’t always the best. I think to be fully informed you should be able to get either a non biased opinion or both sides of the story. Not just one.
On the contrary, Republicans tend to frequent news outlets like Fox News and listen to conservative analysts like Rush Limbaugh. Most major newspapers tend to be liberal but The Daily Oklahoman is special because it is one of the very few Conservative major newspapers.
I think having these separate views on separate channels and such while it is a terrible idea matters to society a lot. I feel that this is a pertinent issue because if there were a non biased or neutral news outlet or news network like a CNN or Fox News format there would be better news because citizens would be able to be better informed and be able see both sides. As of right now people only see the one side they want to see and nobody will ever agree on an issue because they only see the one side they want to see!
With the constant variety of news people have access to today, we have the option to choose where our news comes from and what views are advocated. Obviously, certain news sources have a reputation for leaning to the right, while others are known to lean left. This 2009 study from the Pew Research Center profiles the audiences of Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC based on their political views.
Predictably, republicans have a tendency to follow right-leaning sources and democrats do the opposite. I don’t think that this is a terrible thing, because people of specific viewpoints can get information and analysis that is pertinent and relevant to them. Following partisan news can, however, prevent people from forming their own opinions, as the talking heads on television are feeding them certain ideas. The fact that Republicans and Democrats get their news from different sources adds to political animosity between the parties. I’m not saying that people aren’t capable of taking the information they hear on TV and simply using it to inform their own views, but I am saying that following partisan news can have an influence over the way someone thinks. If Democrats and Republicans get their news from different, partisan sources, the gap between their positions will be reinforced through the media, but if people of both parties got their information either from the same source or various sources, the facts will take precedence and discourse can ensue.Obviously, not everyone simply follows just Fox News or CNN, but certain people do.
And in a hypothetical world in which everyone followed news that advocated their own political views, the overall political discourse would, in my opinion, suffer.