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09/07/2019

Does politics manipulate the media?

QUESTION
Does politics manipulate the media?
I’m doing an essay using the question above.

I’m having trouble finding sources related to the history of television, examples of corruption in media television….etc

any help would be great!!!!!!

ty!

ANSWER
Manipulation is such a dirty word (accurate, but dirty).

Television (at least in the U.S.) is required to present a certain amount of news/public service announcements in exchange for the basically free slice of electromagnetic frequency that the fcc grants them a monopoly over. That gives them time that needs to be filled. They like to fill that time with information and supporting visuals.

Politicians have ideas that they are trying to push and elections to win. They need as much free air time as they can get.

The result — a match made in hell. Politicians have what the media want — stories with ready built conflict, heroes, and bad guys. The media has what politicians want — access to voters.

Basic campaign training 101 is how to structure your press releases in a way that 1) gets media attention and 2) is likely to make it to the air mostly intact.

Its not necessarily (or mostly) corruption. its more that good politicians (and political advisers) learn how to give the media what it needs in ways that benefit the politician.

As far as examples, turn on your daily network news or cnn. You have leaks of major policy announcements prior to the official event, you have politicians making appearances on sunday morning talk shows, you have press conferences by the president, by cabinet members, by key members of congress. All of these activities are about making sure that your version of political events gets its 30 seconds of coverage by the news media.