The texts illustrate the political influence in mass media. Political factors had substantial control over what was reported. One of the criticisms facing mass media was under the control of political leaders, who offered political partisanship, thus influencing what is reported (Blanchard 175). Once political influence waned in newspaper publication, sordid details about corruption in government erupted, accompanied by convincing evidence (357). So much was the scrutiny that the media was criticized for sensationalizing political matters.Comparatively, the Cold War text explains that media houses had to receive clearance from the Senate Internal Sub-committee and House Committee on Un-American Activities before running any story (147).Political influence is a major theme in all the texts.
Further, consumerism drove the media. The media is accused of being driven by commercial success, at the expense of professionalism (175). Media houses published sensational news that appealed to the masses to increase their revenue. Consequently, alternative media rose to voice the needs of the minority and dispel popular beliefs enforced by the conventional press (34). Consumerism also led to audience research so that information is tailored to meet the demands of the public and beat competition (52). The Cold war text demonstrates how the papers stressed the dangers of communism, sentiments that the citizens shared. Media consumerism and its impacts are notable throughout the texts.
There is a substantial relationship between the reader and the writer. To drive up sales, the newspapers launched surveys and audits to determine reader needs (45). Equally, alternative publications arose to give dissenting views about topics that mainstream media either downplayed or ignored (34). Similarly, AIM was formed with the intent of protecting readers from bias reporting. The Cold War coverage was done with the intention of filling Americans with the hope that their nation would prevail in the war. From the texts, it is evident that the news writers highly regarded the readers.
The texts are organized alphabetically and thematically. Blanchard organized the work in an alphabetical manner, which was guided by the topic of the content. Similarly, there are recurring themes in the readings. Politics and consumerism are recurrent in all the readings. The texts were organized thematically and alphabetically.
The language used is simple and suits the context. It is easy to understand the message conveyed by the texts. The Scrutiny of the media text, for instance, clearly demonstrated how the media was bias and unprofessional (588-589). Equally, the Cold War text also illustrates how the citizens perceived the cold war and how politics shaped opinion. The texts had content-suitable language, which was easy to understand.
From the reading, I have gained insight into print media. I have learned that the media has a significant role in enforcing public beliefs as in the Cold War text. Moreover, I realized that what readers receive is subject to the opinion of readers and what will hike newspaper sales. I found it interesting how finances and politics have influenced print media since its inception. However, I did not like the alphabetical arrangement of the texts, which made it difficult to connect the themes in the story as they were widely spread. The readings revealed how print media operates.
Blanchard, A. Margaret. History of the Mass Media in the United States: An Encyclopedia. Chicago: Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers, 1998.
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