The News Media and Communicating Political Images

In this American Politics course,
1.  Identify at least two ideas you have gleaned from this course that you consider useful.
2. Provide a brief rationale for each of these ideas as to why you think they are the most valuable to you. Include references to the thinking habits, learning experiences, and content knowledge you have gained from the couses

3. Share two news or government sources that you find valuable and why you find them to be so.
Read Chapter 10: The News Media and Communicating Political Images
The news media (or the press, as they are also called) are a key intermediary between Americans and their leaders, but they are a different kind of intermediary than parties or interest groups. The media’s basic goal is to inform the public about politics and government. Yet, because news organizations also seek to attract an audience in their pursuit of a profit, their news coverage provide a slanted version of politics. As you read through this chapter, consider the following points:
1) The American press was initially tied to the nation’s political party system (partisan press) but gradually developed an independent position (the objective press).
2) In more recent years, traditional news has faced increased competition for people’s attention from cable and the internet. This has led to audience fragmentation and an increase in opinionated and entertainment based coverage/journalism.
3) The news media has several functions–signaling (the press brings relevant events and problems to light), common-carrier (the press serves as a channel through which leaders and citizens can communicate), watchdog (the press scrutinizes official behavior for evidence of deceitful, careless or corrupt actions), and partisan (the press promotes particular interests and values).
4) The news audience has been shrinking and fragmenting, partly as a result of new technology and party because young adults are less likely than older ones to pay attention to news.

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