The main function of the mass media is entertainment, but the media also perform the political functions of
a) reporting news
b) interpreting news
c) influencing citizens' opinions
d) setting the political agenda
e) socializing citizens about politics
The media's most important effect on public opinion is setting the political agenda (influencing what specific issues politicians and the public are concerned about).
Most Americans today get their news from television but newspapers and news magazines usually do a more thorough job of informing the public about politics.
Both print and electronic media determine which events are newsworthy largely on the basis of audience appeal.
Attentiveness to the news is closely related to level of education (higher) and age (over 30).
Washington D.C. hosts the biggest press corps in the world.
The media's elite, including journalists and reporters, tend to be more liberal than the general public, but editors and publishers are inclined to be more conservative.
If the media systematically demonstrate any pronounced bias in their news reporting, it is a bias against incumbents and frontrunners, regardless of their party.
The trend in recent years has been toward relaxation of regulations affecting the number of radio and television stations owned by a single company. This has led to more concentration of ownership.
mass media -
print media -
broadcast media -
group media -
yellow journalism -
two-way flow of communication -
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) -
equal opportunities rule -
fairness doctrine -
reasonable access rule -
"horse race" journalism -
political agenda -
concentration of ownership -