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mass media

the entire array of organizations through which information is collected and disseminated to the general public

news media

media providing the public with new information about subjects of public interest

yellow journalism

a form of newspaper publishing in vogue in the late 19th C that featured pictures, comics, color, and sensationalized coverage


a form of journalism, in vogue in the early 20th C, devoted to exposing misconduct by gov, business, and individual politicians


targeting media programing at specific populations within society

citizen journalists

ordinary individuals who collect, report, and analyze news content

on the record

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

off the record

information provided to a journalist that will not be released to the public

on background

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

deep background

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

content regulations

limitations on the substance of the mass media

equal time rule

requires broadcast stations to sell air time equally to all candidates in a political campaign if they choose to sell it to any

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

media effects

the influence of news sources on public opinion

agenda setting

the process of forming the list of issues to be addressed by governement


the process by which a news organization defines a political issue and consequently affects opinion about the issue

interest group

a collection of people or organizations that tries to influence public policy

pluralist theory

the theory that political power is distributed among a wide array of diverse and competing interest groups

disturbance theory

the theory that interest groups form as a result of changes in the political system

transactions theory

the theory that public policies are the result of narrowly defined exchanges among political actors

collective good

something of value that cannot be withheld from a non member of a group, for example, a tax write-off or a better environment

population ecology theory

the theory that the formation of political organizations is conditional on the resources allocated to a given issue area

public interest group

an organization that seeks a collective good that will not selectively and materially benefit group members

economic interest group

a group with the primary purpose of promoting the financial interests of its members


funds that an appropriations bill designates for specific projects within a state or congressional district

political action committee (PAC)

officially registered fundraising organization that represents interest groups in the political process


the activities of a group or organization that seek to persuade political leaders to support the group's position


a person who finances a group or individual activity

free rider problem

potential members fail to join a group because they can get the benefit, or collective good, sought by the group without contributing the effort

Honest Leadersip & Open Government Act of 2007

lobbying reform banning gifts to members of congress and their staffs, toughening disclosure requirements, and increasing time limits on moving from the federal government to the private sector


Local television stations that carry the programming of a national network

Agenda Setting

The constant process of forming the list of issued to be addressed by government


Web-based journal entries that provide an editorial and news outlet for citizens

Broadcast Media

Television, radio, cable, and satellite services


An association of broadcast stations (radio or TV) that share programming through a financial arrangement

NEW Media

Technologies, such as the Internet, that blur the line between media sources and create new oppertunities for the dissemination of news and other information

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

Print Media

Traditional form of mass media, comprising newspapers, magazines, newsletters, and journals

Wire Service

An electronic delivery of news gathered by the news service's correspondents and sent to all member news media organizations

Civic Virtue

Tendancy to form small-scale associations for the public good


Interest group representatives who seek to influence legislation that will benefit his or her organization or client through political persuasion

Social Capital

Myriad relationships that individuals enjoy that facilitate the resolution of community problems through collective action

Trade Association

A group that represents a certain industry

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