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POLSC333: Campaigns and Elections

Unit 5: Campaigns and the Media   Another important component of the campaign and election process is the media.  The media plays a major role in shaping and defining the message that a given candidate communicates in a given election.  The media also ensures that citizens have access to information about candidates and elections.  However, note the give-and-take relationship between politicians and media; their codependence can impact how we perceive politicians.  In this unit, you will learn how candidates use the media and how the media covers politicians. 

Unit 5 Time Advisory
This unit should take you approximately 22 hours to complete.
☐    Subunit 5.1: 4 hours

☐    Sub-subunit 5.1.1: 3 hours
☐    Sub-subunit 5.1.2: 1 hour

☐    Subunit 5.2: 3.5 hour
☐    Subunit 5.3: 10.25 hours

☐    Sub-subunit 5.3.1: 0.75 hour
☐    Sub-subunit 5.3.2: 3 hours
☐    Sub-subunit 5.3.3: 4 hours
☐    Sub-subunit 5.3.4: 2.5 hours

☐    Subunit 5.4: 4.25 hours

☐    Sub-subunit 5.4.1 3 hours
☐    Sub-subunit 5.4.2: 1.25 hours

 

Unit5 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, the student will be able to: - Summarize the media’s historical and contemporary influence on elections. - Discuss the roles and functions of the media in campaigns and elections. - Explain the evolution of television as a medium for political candidates. - Assess the impact of negative advertising on candidates and campaigns. - Compare and contrast media coverage of national and local campaigns. - Explain the influence of cable news and the 24-hour news cycle on campaigns and elections. - Discuss the current and future role of social media in influencing elections.

5.1 Campaign Communication and Print Media   5.1.1 Evolution of Print Media and Its Impact on Elections   - Reading: Shmoop.com: “Ideology in History of American Journalism” Link: Shmoop.com: “Ideology in History of American Journalism” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please click on the link above, and read this entire webpage. 

 This reading should take approximately 1 hour to complete.  
    
 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.
  • Reading: Princeton University: Center for the Study of Democratic Politics: Mel Laracey's: “The Presidential Newspaper as an Institution of Early American Political Development: The Case of Thomas Jefferson and the Election of 1800” Link: Princeton University: Center for the Study of Democratic Politics: Mel Laracey's: “The Presidential Newspaper as an Institution of Early American Political Development: The Case of Thomas Jefferson and the Election of 1800” (PDF)
     
    Instructions: Please click on the link above, select the title to access the PDF, and then read this entire PDF (42 pages).  This report offers an illuminating case study on the critical role of political newspapers in the early 19th century.
     
    This reading should take approximately 2 hours to complete.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

5.1.2 Campaigns and Newspaper Endorsements   - Reading: American Journalism Review: Tim Porter's: “What’s the Point?” Link: American Journalism Review: Tim Porter's: “What’s the Point?” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please click on the link above, and read this entire webpage.  Has a newspaper’s endorsement of a candidate ever swayed how you felt about a particular candidate?  Do you think these endorsements have any effect on a voter’s decision-making process?
 
Reading and answering the questions above should take approximately 1 hour to complete.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

5.2 Campaign Communication and Television   5.2.1 The Evolution of Television in Political Campaigns   5.2.1.1 Television Campaign Ads   - Reading: Museum of the Moving Image: “The Living Room Candidate” Link: Museum of the Moving Image: “The Living Room Candidate” (Adobe Flash)
 
Instructions: The Living Room Candidate is an innovative online exhibition presenting more than 250 television commercials from every presidential campaign since 1952.  Read the “Introduction” on this page, browse this website, and view some of the ads.  Select two ads from either 1952 or 1956 and two ads from 1980 or later.  What differences do you notice in the production choices, style, and overall effect of the commercials?  What do these changes suggest about how the medium itself has evolved?

 You should dedicate approximately 15-20 minutes to studying this
resource and answering the questions above.  
    
 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.
  • Reading: Time Magazine: Amy Sullivan’s “Truth in Advertising? Not for Political Ads” Link: Time Magazine: Amy Sullivan’s “Truth in Advertising? Not for Political Ads” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Please read this entire webpage, and then consider how First Amendment issues can complicate the enforcement of false political advertising. 
     
    Reading and answering the prompt above should take approximately 15-20 minutes to complete.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

5.2.1.2 Presidential Debates   - Web Media: C-SPAN Video Library: “Presidential Debates” Link: C-SPAN Video Library: “Presidential Debates” (Adobe Flash)
 
Instructions: Please click on the link above, and watch this entire video (approximately 79 minutes) of a panel discussion on presidential debates.  The first part of the program focuses on the seminal 1960 televised debate between John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon.  Subsequent discussion focuses on the usefulness of presidential debates and what they may look like in the future.
 
Viewing this video and note-taking should take approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes to complete.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

5.2.2 Going Negative”: The Impact of Negative Ads on Elections   - Reading: ThisNation.com: “Do Negative Campaign Ads Work?” Link: ThisNation.com: “Do Negative Campaign Ads Work?” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please click on the link above, and read this entire webpage. 

 This reading should take approximately 15-20 minutes to complete.  
    
 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.
  • Web Media: Totally Top 10: “10 Most Negative Political Campaign Ads in History” Link: Totally Top 10: “10 Most Negative Political Campaign Ads in History” (Adobe Flash)
     
    Instructions: Please read all the descriptions and view all the political campaign ads.  Note that the link for the 9th ad does not work.  To view this ad, see the next “Web Media” item below.  In your opinion, which of the ads are the most negative?  The most effective?  Why? Please note that the link to video #9 is broken on this webpage, but it is provided with the web media linked below.
     
    Viewing these videos, reading the descriptions, and answering the questions above should take approximately 30 minutes to complete.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Web Media: YouTube: Michael Billy’s “Famous ‘Daisy’ Attack Ad from 1964 Presidential Election” Link: YouTube: Michael Billy’s “Famous ‘Daisy’ Attack Ad from 1964 Presidential Election” (YouTube)
     
    Instructions: Please view the political campaign ad (1 minute).  This is the ad from the broken link in the above “web media” item.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Assessment: The Saylor Foundation's “Fact Checking Campaign Ads” Link: The Saylor Foundation's “Fact Checking Campaign Ads” (PDF)

    Instructions: Please complete the linked assessment for the purposes of effectively analyzing and explaining the role of the media in campaigns and elections. 

    You should dedicate approximately 1 hour to complete this assessment.

    When you are done, please check your work against The Saylor Foundation's “Guide to Responding: Fact Checking Campaign Ads Assessment." (PDF)

5.3 News Coverage of Campaigns and Candidates   5.3.1 National vs. Local Campaign Coverage   - Reading: Nieman Reports: Shanto Iyengar, William F. Woo, and Jennifer McGrady's: “Looking Behind the Scenes of Political Coverage” Link:Nieman Reports: Shanto Iyengar, William F. Woo, and Jennifer McGrady's: “Looking Behind the Scenes of Political Coverage” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please click on the link above, and read this entire webpage.  This article compares and contrasts national presidential press coverage with local reporting on congressional races and discovers some surprising findings.
 
This reading should take approximately 30 minutes to complete.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: The Lear Center Local News Archive: Martin Kaplan's: “Local TV News Coverage of Politics and the Public Interest Obligations of Broadcasters” Link: The Lear Center Local News Archive: Martin Kaplan's: “Local TV News Coverage of Politics and the Public Interest Obligations of Broadcasters” (PDF)
     
    Instructions: Please click on the link above, then select the link for this report,  and then read this entire PDF (3 pages).  Martin Kaplan, associate dean at the USC Annenberg School for Communication, testified before the Senate Commerce Committee on the responsibilities of broadcasters to cover relevant political issues.
     
    This reading should take approximately 15-20 minutes to complete.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

5.3.2 Critiquing Campaign News Coverage   - Reading: Fairness in Accuracy and Reporting: Jon Whiten's: “Fair Study: TV’s Low-Cal Campaign Coverage” The Saylor Foundation does not yet have materials for this portion of the course. If you are interested in contributing your content to fill this gap or aware of a resource that could be used here, please submit it here.

[Submit Materials](/contribute/)
  • Reading: Harvard University: John F. Kennedy School of Government: Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy: John Geer's: “Fanning the Flames: The News Media’s Role in the Rise of Negativity in Presidential Campaigns” Link: Harvard University: John F. Kennedy School of Government: Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy: John Geer's: “Fanning the Flames: The News Media’s Role in the Rise of Negativity in Presidential Campaigns” (PDF)
     
    Instructions: Please click on the link above, select the link to the title after the author’s name, and then read this entire PDF (22 pages).  According to Geer, how has the news media been complicit in negative reporting?  What are their motivations for doing this?

    Reading and answering the questions above should take approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes to complete.
      
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: Boston Globe: Craig Fehrman's: “The Incredible Shrinking Sound Bite” Link: Boston Globe: Craig Fehrman's: “The Incredible Shrinking Sound Bite” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Please click on the link above, and read this entire webpage.  Make sure to click on “next” at the bottom of the first page to continue to all 3 pages of the article.

    This reading should take approximately 45 minutes to complete.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

5.3.3 CNN, Fox, and MSNBC: The Influence of Cable News   - Reading: Boston College: Christopher D. Stanley's: “24-Hour Cable News: The Mainstreaming of Politicization” Link: Boston College: Christopher D. Stanley's: “24-Hour Cable News: The Mainstreaming of Politicization” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please click on the link above, select the “Read Online” link, and then read pages 1–31 and 45–88.  Stanley contends that 24-hour cable news has not only helped to shape political debate in recent years but has also served to intensify voter partisanship.  Do you agree with his assessment?
 
Reading and answering the questions above should take approximately 4 hours to complete.
  
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

5.3.4 The “Horse Race” and Exit Polls   - Reading: Slate.com: Jack Shafer's: “In Praise of Horse-Race Coverage” Link: Slate.com: Jack Shafer's: “In Praise of Horse-Race Coverage” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please click on the link above, and read this entire webpage. 

 This reading should take approximately 30 minutes to complete.  
    
 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.
  • Reading: Harvard University: John F. Kennedy School of Government: Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy: Robin Sproul's: “Exit Polls: Better or Worse Since the 2000 Election?” Link: Harvard University: John F. Kennedy School of Government: Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy: Robin Sproul's: “Exit Polls: Better or Worse Since the 2000 Election?” (PDF)
     
    Instructions: Please click on the link above, select the link to the title after the author’s name, and then read this entire PDF (41 pages).  What are Sproul’s primary criticisms about exit polling?
     
    Reading and answering the question above should take approximately 2 hours to complete.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

5.4 Campaigning and “New” Media   5.4.1 The Rise of the Internet Campaign   - Reading: United Diversity: Matthew Scott Hindman's: Voice, Equality, and the Internet: “The Lessons of Howard Dean” Link: United Diversity: Matthew Scott Hindman's: Voice, Equality, and the Internet: “The Lessons of Howard Dean” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Please click on the link above, select the “voice_equality_and_the_internet.pdf” link (second from the bottom), and then read pages 17–29. 
 
This reading should take approximately 30 minutes to complete.
  
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: Time: Karen Tumulty's: “Obama’s Viral Marketing Campaign” Link: Time: Karen Tumulty's: “Obama’s Viral Marketing Campaign” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Please click on the link above, and read this entire webpage, ensuring to click the arrow to read the second page.
     
    This reading should take approximately 30 minutes to complete.
               
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: Pew Internet & American Life Project: “The Internet and Campaign 2010” Link: Pew Internet & American Life Project: “The Internet and Campaign 2010” (PDF)
     
    Instructions: Please click on the link above, select the “Download Report PDF” link, and then read this entire PDF (39 pages).

    This reading should take approximately 2 hours to complete.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

5.4.2 Blogs, Twitter, and Facebook: The Impact of Social Media on Political Campaigns   - Web Media: The Century Foundation: “2012 Election: Discussion Part 1” The Saylor Foundation does not yet have materials for this portion of the course. If you are interested in contributing your content to fill this gap or aware of a resource that could be used here, please submit it here.

[Submit Materials](/contribute/)
  • Reading: Brookings Institution: Darrell West's: “Ten Ways Social Media Can Improve Campaign Engagement and Reinvigorate American Democracy” Link: Brookings Institution: Darrell West's: “Ten Ways Social Media Can Improve Campaign Engagement and Reinvigorate American Democracy” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Please click on the link above, and read this entire webpage.
     
    This reading should take approximately 30 minutes to complete.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.