WORKSHEET The Role and Impact of Mass Media

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1 P a g e 1 WORKSHEET The Role and Impact of Mass Media As the worlds first constitutional democratic republic, The United States is considered a role model for a large number of countries. We have state and central governments elected by the people. We have a government run by our own elected representatives. Modern democratic governments have the following: a) A Legislature, i.e. Congresses, Assemblies and Parliaments, responsible for writing laws and decide the way we run our affairs. b) An Executive: The President, (or Prime Minister) and their executive cabinet who run the country. c) A Judiciary: The Supreme Court and other courts which decide whether laws and the constitutional provisions are followed by the elected governments. These institutions run the government of the country for the welfare and development of all the people. In a democracy, the people should know what the three institutions, namely the Legislature, the Executive and the Judiciary are doing for the welfare of the people. These institutions in turn need to know how the people are reacting to what they are doing. The main role of the mass media is to act as a bridge between the people and the government. So, in that sense, media can be considered as the fourth institution in a democracy.

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4 P a g e 4 TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE! FILL-IN-THE-BLANK 1. is a means of communication that reaches the mass public, including newspapers and magazines, radio, television, films, recordings, books, and electronic communication. 2. are media that emphasize the news. 3. is the process by which we develop our political attitudes, values, and beliefs. 4. is the process by which individuals screen out messages that do not conform to their own biases. 5. is the process by which individuals perceive what they want to in media messages and disregard the rest. 6. A is a close contest; by extension, any contest in which the focus is on who is ahead and by how much rather than on substantive differences between the candidates. MULTIPLE CHOICE 1. Due to the rise of cable television and the emergence of the Web, the broadcast networks (CBS, NBC, and ABC) now attract of the viewing public for television news. a. 90% b. 50% c. 40% 2. Which of the following do a better job of covering politics and devote more attention to it? a. television b. newspapers c. radio 3. Which of the following Web-based news sources was the first to break the story of President Clinton's affair with White House intern Monica Lewinski? a. The Drudge Report b. Wall Street Journal Online c. Newsweek 4. What did politicians find advantageous in the use of radio? a. Listeners could not see physical handicaps like Roosevelt's use of a wheelchair. b. It provided a means to bypass the screening of editors and reporters. c. Due to Federal Communications (FCC) rules, radio stations had to broadcast political ads free. 5. founded the Fox network, owns twenty two television stations in the United States, the Family Channel, and 20th Century Fox. a. Rupert Murdoch b. Ted Turner c. Dan Rather 6. Which of the following is not a role of the media in modern America? a. judges the candidates in terms of party affiliation and platform rather than character and competence b. political mediators that help organize the world of politics for citizens c. speaks for "the people" and then tells them what politicians are doing about issues

5 P a g e 5 7. An example of how the ability of television to present images and communicate events has influenced American public opinion is. a. the switch from isolation to open support of Britain in World War II b. galvanizing the antiwar movement in the United States during the Vietnam War c. the turn toward the policy of the Democrats during the Great Depression 8. The planning of presidential events and "photo opportunities" are planned with the and its format in mind. a. evening news b. morning newspaper c. radio talk show 9. is defined as when people perceive what they want to in media messages and disregard the rest. a. political socialization b. selective exposure c. selective perception 10. What is not a reason for people forgetting stories or failing to comprehend their importance? a. the media fails to present stories of importance and concentrates on gossip and entertainment b. candidates and officials sent out more information than most people can comprehend c. the fragmentary and rapid mode of presentation of television news 11. What is a check on media bias? a. Reporters and editors have become too friendly with the people and organizations they write about. b. Reporters choose what they report and what they ignore. c. News coverage involves many reporters and a host of editors. 12. Journalists are more than the population as a whole, while corporate media owners are more than the population as a whole. a. liberal, conservative b. conservative, progressive c. biased, fair-minded 13. Which of the following is not an important influence of print and broadcast media on public opinion? a. issue framing b. agenda setting c. selective reporting 14. News coverage is likely to be more influential in. a. an election for Senate b. an election for president c. a city council contest 15. Why do many events organized by campaigns fail to receive attention from reporters? a. In the past decade, reporters have devoted 80% of their time to gossip and sensational stories. b. There are too many competing news stories. c. The media rejects any events not organized by public interest groups. 16. A benefit of television in campaigning is that. a. it has condensed candidates messages to thirty second sound bites. b. a decrease in the cost of advertising. c. it has made politics more accessible to more people. 17. A primary responsibility of a is to present a positive image of the candidate and to reinforce negative images of the opponent. a. media consultant b. publisher c. reporter

6 P a g e Small sample groups of people who are asked questions about candidates and issues in a discussion setting are called. a. focus groups b. reporting groups c. polling groups 19. When does TV coverage on election night affect the turnout of voters? a. in a close election b. in an election in which one candidate appears to be winning by a large margin c. only in midterm elections 20. The branch of government has the most focus of the news media. a. judicial b. executive c. legislative TRUE or FALSE T F 1. It is an unwritten rule of television that news programs never have entertainment value, and entertainment programs never convey news. T F 2. Because of the reliance of television and radio, campaigns now focus on image and slogans rather than issues. T F 3. The top circulating national newspaper is the New York Times. T F 4. Early American newspapers were created to serve political parties but retained journalistic independence. T F 5. The penny press appealed to less politically aware readers with human-interest stories and reports on sports, crime, trials, and social activities. T F 6. An example of investigatory reporting is the work of Robert Woodward and Carl Bernstein of the Washington Post who helped to uncover the Watergate conspiracy. T F 7. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) forbids the ownership of newspapers and television stations by the same company. T F 8. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in 1987 and 2000 has strengthened the fairness doctrine. T F 9. Politicians see the media as an adversary and thus avoid developing good relations with reporters. T F 10. People interpret political messages based on political socialization, selectivity, need, and the individual's ability to recall and comprehend the message. T F 11. The growth of cable television and news media like the Web has weakened the ability of any one media source. T F 12. The line between objective journalism and partisan politics has been preserved because of the media's refusal to hire former government officials. T F 13. Throughout American history and in the present, newspaper publishers are the most powerful force in influencing election outcomes. T F 14. The press revealed Franklin Roosevelt's wheel chair and braces in photographs published in newspapers and magazines in the 1930s. T F 15. Newspapers and television have more influence in determining the outcome of general elections than of primaries.

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