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Media and Democracy in “By the People: Debating American Government 5e”

“By the People: Debating American Government” is an introduction to the American government, and the 9th chapter focuses on media and democracy in the US. Mass media is an excellent source of influence, information, and controversy. This chapter is an analysis of how media has changed over time, where the public tends to source the news, and what is the detrimental source of information for Americans nowadays.

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Back in the day, the most important source of information was newspapers. Newspapers are not remotely as popular and preferred by the public as they used to be. Analysts contribute to basic reporting and the potential loss of important news (Morone and Kersh 334). Other popular media sources were the radio and television. Radio media is still going strong due to a new demand for podcasts. The older radio consumer remains loyal, and millennials join the trend for podcasts, leading to radio’s steady growth in popularity (Morone and Kersh 336). 1950 was the year of revolutionizing infotainment, and it happened due to television. The 60s and 70s were characterized by monopolization by two media giants, CBS and NBC. The monopoly ended with the appearance of new technology and cable TV. Now that internet news sources are taking the place of traditional ones, there is more news coverage than ever. Consumers can access multiple outlets, discuss the issues on social media platforms, and learn about new information they find helpful.

There are significant differences between how news was covered before and how it happens now. The first aspect is based on accessibility and broad choice. While decades ago, people had access to a couple of news channels and newspapers, now they can obtain information from various sources. The other significant difference is the fact that in the 80s, people wanted their sources of information to be completely unbiased (Morone and Kersh 340). Moreover, data was considered credible if the media outlet was able to differentiate facts from personal agendas. Nowadays, there is a particular distinction between media coverage in a republican source versus a democratic one. Furthermore, one more distinction that makes modern media unique is citizen participation (Morone and Kersh 339). Unlike the outdated method of waiting for the crew, camera, and script to cover an event, having a cell phone turns every individual into a potential news-maker. All things considered, accessibility, political agendas, and involvement of the general public led to changes in media.

The First Amendment protects print media from most government regulations. While this restrains the government from influencing print media, TV and Radio can be regulated even without public ownership. Studies show that most Americans use television sources as their primary media outlets. However, in a 15-year period, the general public watching news on TV decreased by more than 30% (Morone and Kersh 334). As mentioned before, radio remains strong due to podcasts and a new audience. This being said, Americans tend to choose online news sources. However, there is still an audience that stays loyal to television and radio outlets.

Mass media has gone through many changes. Internet is leading, leaving television and newspapers behind. People prefer online sources when it comes to searching for up-to-date information on political issues. Traditional formats are less desirable, and the public tends to go for accessibility, variety, and the media’s political agenda.

Work Cited

Morone, James A., and Rogan Kersh. By the People: Debating American Government. 5th ed., Oxford University Press, 2021.

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StudyCorgi. "Media and Democracy in “By the People: Debating American Government 5e”." December 10, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/media-and-democracy-in-by-the-people-debating-american-government-5e/.

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StudyCorgi. 2022. "Media and Democracy in “By the People: Debating American Government 5e”." December 10, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/media-and-democracy-in-by-the-people-debating-american-government-5e/.

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StudyCorgi. (2022) 'Media and Democracy in “By the People: Debating American Government 5e”'. 10 December.

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