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The media‘s particular understanding of the ways of influence and

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The media‘s particular understanding of the ways of influence and  [#permalink]

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The media‘s particular understanding of the ways of influence and decision-making in government colours the way they describe political reality. It also defines their responsibility in reporting that reality; contemporary reporters are in many ways the grandchildren of the Progressive muckrakers.

Few aspects of American politics reinforce this Progressive world-view as effectively as the American way of campaign finance. In assuming that public officials defer to contributors more easily than they do to their party, their own values, or their voting constituency, one has the perfect dramatic scenario for the triumph of wealthy special interests over the will of majorities and the public interest.

Much has been made recently about campaign finance reform. Various politicians and voters' rights groups have petitioned for a reworking of the campaign finance laws that govern how political candidates can solicit and spent money on their races for office.

"Bias" is a word with many meanings. It suggests a single explanation—one of conscious, even wilful preference—for a range of instances in which the message misinterprets or misconveys the reality. The media have been attacked as biased in a partisan direction by both Democrats and Republicans, and from both the left and the right. To be sure, media partisanship was apparent in earlier times, when the partisan press was little more than a propagandist for the party it favoured.

But that overtly biased style seems to have given way in the 20 century to a media more concerned with gaining audience than political proselytes, and an electronic media fearful of government regulation if it strays into political controversy. Few objective observers of, for instance, the reporting of campaign finance would argue that conventional biases are operating here. Rather one has to look to more intrinsic and ingrained forms, to the structural biases of American newspapers and the political assumptions of their reporters, editors, and headline-writers. Structural biases are rooted in the very nature of journalism—in its professional norms, in marketplace imperatives, in the demands of communicating information to an unsophisticated audience.

Stories need identifiable actors, understandable activity, and elements of conflict, threat or menace. They cannot be long, and must avoid complexity—must focus on the horserace rather than on the substance of a campaign; on controversy, personalities and negative statistics rather than on concepts. These define the "good" story. Systematic bias and political assumption, finally, meet in an analytical conundrum. A systematic bias dictates that newspapers print stories that will be read. But does the press publish the story because readers have been conditioned by newspapers to accept and believe such accounts, or does it publish the story because of its conviction that it represents political truth? Is there really any difference? Ultimately, the Progressive view of reality becomes a part of the imperatives of publishing a newspaper.
Source:RC99

1. In the course of presenting his arguments, the author suggests that structural biases in American journalism result primarily—but not necessarily exclusively—from:
A. problems intrinsic to the publishing and marketing of newspapers.
B. suppositions of journalists about the integrity of public officials.
C. reporters‘ cynicism about the public‘s level of intelligence.
D. growing competition among newspapers for a shrinking audience.
E. increasing influence of foreign nations

2. According to the passage, which of the following would indicate structural biases inherent in journalists‘ work?

A. An article that adheres loyally to Progressivist dictates
B. An article that successfully masks its biased opinions
C. An article that is informed by political sophistication
D. An article that is entertaining and easy to comprehend
E. An article that criticises the current government

3. Which of the following best describes the "analytical conundrum" referred to in the sentence, "Systematic bias and political assumption, finally, meet in an analytical conundrum," in the last paragraph?

A. Newspapers promote Progressive ideas in which they do not believe.

B. Since systematic biases and political assumptions have similar effects, it is difficult to differentiate their roles in journalistic publishing decisions.

C. Systematic biases and political assumptions exert contradictory and conflicting pressures on newspaper publishers.

D. Readers‘ preferences for dramatic news accounts reflecting Progressive ideas, rather than journalists‘ objective understanding of the political system, determine what is published.

E. the confusion over what types of articles to publish in newspapers


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Re: The media‘s particular understanding of the ways of influence and  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Oct 2018, 19:10

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Re: The media‘s particular understanding of the ways of influence and &nbs [#permalink] 02 Oct 2018, 19:10
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