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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 nineteenth century that featured pictures, comics, color, and sensationalized, oversimplified news coverage.


A form of journalism, in vogue in the early twentieth century, concerned with reforming government and business conduct.

Print Media

The traditional form of mass media, comprising newspapers, magazines, newsletters, and journals.

Broadcast Media

Television, radios, cable, and satellite services.

New Media

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


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


Local television stations that carry the programming of a national network.

Wire Service

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


Targeting media programming at specific population within society.


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

Content Regulation

Government attempts to regulate the substance of the mass media.

Equal Time Rule

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

Fairness Doctrine

Rule in effect from 1949 to 1985 requiring broadcasters to cover events adequately and to present contrasting views on important public issues.

Press Release

A document offering an official comment of 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.

Off the Record

Information provided to a journalist that will not be released to the public.

On the Record

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.

Media Effects

The influence of news sources on public opinion.

Agenda Setting

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


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

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