The Mass Media in Texas Politics

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Chapter 5: Mass Media
1. The five critical areas that television media must satisfy when they decide to run a story a. Significant impact on its audience (legislative proposal to raise taxes) b. Generates interest (act of violence, natural disaster, political scandal, ban on guns) c. Familiarity (well -known individuals/situations)

d. Proximity (Close to home)
e. Timeliness (Happening now)
*through this process media participates in the agenda setting and agenda building process *some stories/phases of news coverage follow the “issue-attention cycle” 2. The court case that established the ability to spend ones’ own wealth seeking public office: Buckely v. Valeo 3. Dynamic of horserace in Texas Politics and media

* Media has been criticized for covering campaigns as it were a horserace and therefor neglects candidates’ positions on substantive policy issues in favor of stories about campaign strategies, tactics, and personalities. Includes poll stories that makes the primary focus on who is winning and who is losing 4. Media and political parties and candidates, many times resort to “feel-good” spots without any substantive information. 5. Media has become ever-more influential and expensive. Over 40% of campaign money goes to media. 6. Rick Perry and Tony Sanchez spent approximately 100 million dollars on their campaign in 2002. That number has surely gone up, and will continue to rise. 7. Open meeting laws give public access to governmental business. Requires business to be conducted in public, records to be made available to the public, advance notice of all meetings (open and closed.) List of exceptions is expanding – public official v. media/people. 8. The shield law is intended to protect journalists from having to reveal the names of confidential news sources when they are subpoenaed to appear in court. Without protection of confidentiality sources would dry up = deprive public of stories....
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