Regulations in the News Media

by
Jonathan Larson

Standards

Many of the standards and ethic codes for the News Media comes mainly from the New's industry itself. A detailed "Code of Ethics" is published by the Society of Professional Journalists. It contains a combinations of standards and principles, as well as ways to avid conflicts of interest, and how to very if information is true.

Sources

There are a number of different ways that reporters acquire information. They can speak to informants either on the record, or off the record. There are also rules regarding if information is obtained on background, or even on deep background.

Government Regulations

There are restrictions that the government has on News Media, as well as restrictions on government itself when restricting the Media. An example of the later is in the Court ruling of New York Times Co. v. U.S. (1971). However the government can regulate radio broadcasts more than print media, this is because air ways are considered public property, and are leased by the government to private broadcasters.

Ownership

The Telecommunications Act resulted in the merging of previously separate media in order to create a "multimedia" approach to communicating information and entertainment. Since the passing of the act, the Federal Communications Commission has been rather lax, leading to more media consolidation. A single company could own up to 45 percent of media in any given market.

Content

While the government is rather limited on regulating print media, it is able to impose more regulations on electron media. One way the government does this is through content regulations. The government also tries to promote equality in broadcasting, which has lead to the equal time rule. There has been much debate over the internet and what to do about illegal content such as pirated movies (SOPA and PIPA).

The News Media and
Politics


Interaction

There are a number of ways in which elected officials communicate what is happening. The first is through a press release. The second is a press briefing. And the third is a press conference. Politicians typically try and use the media to maintain a high level of name recognition and to build support for future elections.

Presidency

The press typically pays very close attention to the president, allowing the president to appear live on television on very short notice. Presidents increasingly resist facing the media and leave this task to their press secretary.

Congress

Due to the large size of Congress, most news organizations concentrate on three different groups of individuals. The first group is the leaders of both parties in both houses of Congress. The next group that is usually focused on is the key committee chairs. However they typically only get air time if subjects in their domain are newsworthy. The third group is simply a media stations local senators and representatives.

Supreme Court

The amount of media coverage in the Supreme Court is significantly lower than that of the president or of Congress. Fewer than a dozen full-time reporters cover the Supreme Court, and the amount of space dedicated to the Supreme Court has continued to shrink.

Influence in the News Media

Influence

There are five ways that the media influences public opinion, this influence is known as media effects.

- When the media focuses on a specific topic more people will know about it. These citizens then pressure the government to take action. This is known as Agenda setting.

- The news media can also influence the opinion of the public through framing.

- The news media is also able to indirectly influence the way the public views elected politicians.

- The news media also has a strong effect on those with a weak political view.

- The news media also is able to easily influence opinion of forein affairs issues. Anything that is not close to home can be influenced quite easily by the media.

Bias in the News Media

Is the news media biased? That is pretty obvious. Up until today, most of the people associated with the news media considered themselves to be liberal Democrats. However today, that number is at an all-time low. Many members of the news media today have similar traits: white, male, highly educated, and relatively affluent. This may cause unconscious bias when dealing with issues of ethnic or minority groups. A few ways to determine if media bias is occuring are to look at where it comes from. Who are the sponsers? Who's point of view is it portrayed from? And so on and so forth.

Public Opinion

Since the 1980s, Americans' opinion of the news media is considerably unfavorable. However the media still has higher approval ratings than other political institutions. People also value the "watchdog" role of the media. Due to this watchdog role, people continue to value and support a free press.

Works Cited

"Bad News for the News Industry." [Gannett Co., Inc., News Corp, Lee Enterprises,

Incorporated, The New York Times Company, The McClatchy Company]. Web.

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"Just Another Example of Media Bias." YouTube. YouTube, 19 July 2012. Web. 20

Jan. 2014.

"How To Detect Bias In News Media." FAIR Fairness Accuracy In Reporting. Web.

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O'Connor, K., Sabato, L., J., & Yanus, A., B. (2014). Essentials of American

government: roots and reform. United Staters of America: Pearson Education,

Inc.