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Paid media

political advertisements purchased for a candidate's campaign

Free media

coverage of a candidate's campaign by the news media

Inoculation ads

advertising that attempts to counteract an anticipated attack from the opposition before the attack is launched


As opposed to the traditional "broadcasting," the appeal to a narrow, particular audience by channels such as ESPN, MTV, and C-SPAN, which focus on a narrow particular interest.


(Federal Communications Commission) regulates the television and radio industry, grants licenses to television and radio stations, and blocks monopolies.

Equal time rule

An FCC rule that if a broadcaster sells time to one candidate, it must sell equal time to other candidates.

Press release

A document offering an official comment or position.

Press briefing

a relatively restricted session between a press secretary or aide and the press

Press conference

an unrestricted session between an elected official and the press

On background

information provided to a journalist that will not be attributed to a named source

Deep background

information provided to a journalist that will not be attributed to any source




information provided to a journalist that can be released and attributed by name to the source

New York Times Co. v. Sullivan (1964)

The supreme court concluded that "actual malice" must be proved to support a finding of libel against a public figure.

Bully pulpit

the president's use of his prestige and visibility to guide or enthuse the American public


The networks that cover Congress

Agenda setting

Determining which public-policy questions will be debated or considered.


Presenting information either positively or negatively in order to change the influence is has on an individual or group.

Media bias

Bias or slant in the selection of which news to report and how the news is reported.

Mass media

Forms of communication, such as newspapers and radio, that reach millions of people.

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