The American Democracy, 10th Edition (Patterson)

Chapter 10: The News Media: Communicating Political Images


agenda setting  The power of the media through news coverage to focus the public’s attention and concern on particular events, problems, issues, personalities, and so on.
common-carrier function  The media’s function as an open channel through which political leaders can communicate with the public.
framing  The process by which the media play up certain aspects of a situation while downplaying other aspects, thereby providing a particular interpretation of the situation.
news  The news media’s version of reality, usually with an emphasis on timely, dramatic, and compelling events and developments.
objective journalism  A model of news reporting that is based on the communication of “facts” rather than opinions and that is “fair” in that it presents all sides of partisan debate.
partisan function  Efforts by media actors to influence public response to a particular party, leader, issue, or viewpoint.
partisan press  Newspapers and other communication media that openly support a political party and whose news in significant part follows the party line.
press (news media)  Those print and broadcast organizations that are in the news-reporting business.
priming  The process by which a communicated message, because of its content, activates certain opinions but not others.
signaling (signaler) function  The accepted responsibility of the media to alert the public to important developments as soon as possible after they happen or are discovered.
watchdog function  The accepted responsibility of the media to protect the public from incompetent or corrupt officials by standing ready to expose any official who violates accepted legal, ethical, or performance standards.
Patterson Tenth Edition Large Cover
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