The Medium Is The Message:
The Role of Media In Politics
Frank Baker
media educator
[email protected]
October 22, 2010
Informed Voter
BY JOE HELLER, GREEN BAY PRESS-GAZETTE - 10/20/2010
Source: USA Today, 10/21/10
Mike Smith, Las Vegas Sun
www.frankwbaker.com
Greenwood Press (2009)
The Medium Is The Message:
The Role of Media In Politics
What do you want your
students to know about
the media?
Media Literacy’s Core Concepts
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All media are constructions
Media are languages with their own set
of rules
Media convey values and points-of-view
Audiences negotiate meaning
Media= power & profit
From NY Times, Week of October 17, 2010
The Medium Is The Message:
The Role of Media In Politics
“Our Founding Fathers understood that a
democratic republic could not survive
without an informed and participatory
citizenry….It is essential in our citizenship
role to view critically, analyze ask
powerful questions and draw our own
conclusions. Media literacy, then, is
essential to the citizenship role.”
Denee Mattioli, past president, NCSS
Media Literacy Questions:
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Who created the message? (author)
Why was it created? (purpose)
For whose eyeballs (audience)
What does it attract attention?
(techniques)
Who/what is omitted?
Where can you go to verify the info?
The Medium Is The Message:
The Role of Media In Politics
What do you want your students to know
about the role media plays in elections?
1. Candidates need the media
2. Candidates depend on media consultants
3. Candidates & their consultants try to control
their image…but they’re not always successful
4. The reason candidates must raise millions of
dollars is not only to run their campaigns but
also to purchase TV time for their ads
5. Political ads resemble traditional ads
(so I believe, we should teach students
techniques of persuasion and production)
6. New media (YouTube; Facebook; etc.) have
been extremely effective this election cycle at
reaching young voters and raising money (so
are cell phones)
Advertising
Research shows (voters) get
more information on the issues
from political ads on TV spots
than they get from TV news or
the debates
Advertising
Political campaign commercials
fall under FREE SPEECH; thus they
cannot be challenged in court
Candidates can and WILL say anything
Thinking Like Advertisers
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Who is my audience?
What medium is best to reach them?
(radio, TV, sign, direct-mail, YouTube,
social network, cell phone)
How will I shape my message?
What images, words, sounds?
Who or what can I associate with?
What do I want my audience to do?
Types of political ads:
Profile (biographical)
Testimonial
Accomplishment
Negative
Response
Character Challenge
Issue
Scare tactics
Symbolism
Patriotism: put flags in the shot; show
lots of red, white, and blue
Supporting business: put candidate with
construction workers
Supporting education: put candidate in
school settings
One of the regular people: put him/her
with farmers, senior citizens, downtown
Language of TV
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Cameras
Lighting
Set Design
Sound & Music
Editing (post production)
Makeup, Wardrobe, Expressions
“The Country I Love”
Senator Barack Obama
You can find this video on YouTube
Deconstructing the Ads
Vincent Sheheen
Nikki Haley
Fact Checking The Candidates
http://newstrust.net/truthsquad
Newspaper Factchecks
TV Station Fact Checks
WSPA TV (Spartanburg)
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The Medium Is The Message: The Role of Media In Politics