Media Role in Political Agenda
All students must read the following reading assignments very carefully.Chapter 6 on “The News Media” from the Struggle for Democracy by Drs. Greenberg and Page, and Chapter 13 on the “Mass Media” from the Democracy for the Few by Dr. Parenti.
Scholarly research shows that the mass media help set the political agenda for ordinary citizens. But there are two kinds of mass media in the United States: The Mainstream media owned by giant corporations, like the CNN, L.A Times, N.Y. Times, the Wall Street Journal, Times Magazine, Newsweek, CBS, NBC, ABC…
And the Non-Mainstream media which run no corporate commercials /advertisements and are publicly owned (mostly supported by donations by their subscribers /the public.)
Examples of Non-mainstream will be Pacifica Radio (KPFK in Los Angeles Area F.M. 90.7), NPR F.M. 89.3, the Nation Magazine, the Humanist, Z magazine…
In this assignment you must compare non mainstream and main stream media coverage of current pressing domestic and global political issues in a scholarly fashion. You must also answer the 5 questions at the bottom of this post. In order to accomplish these tasks you must first read chapters on the mass media from both Democracy for the Few and the Struggle for Democracy.
Furthermore you must listen to KPFK radio station, F.M. 90.7 or go on line http://www.kpfk.org or http://www.kpfk.org/programs and listen to one of Amy Goodman’s “Democracy Now” program on that radio station. You can also navigate through that cite and obtain a hard copy of the same program.
There are several other important programs at KPFK like “the Middle East Focus”, “Beneath the Surface”, “Nation Magazine”, “Lawyers Guild” or weekday’s 6:00 p.m. news that you can use. Listening to KPFK, F.M. 90.7 or reading its programs on line is mandatory.
This is not optional. You must cite specific examples from that radio station.
You cannot cite just few simplistic headlines information. You must cite specific, detailed information from KPFK programs and your detailed responses to them.
You should also access the web site of the nation magazine by clicking “www.thenation.com” and read a couple of articles on one or two current major foreign and domestic policy issues/ crisis like the war in Iraq, the Palestinian Israeli conflict, International Economic Crisis or Global Environmental condition /crisis .
You must also read a couple of articles on at least one of the following current major domestic issue/ crisis: the Patriotic Act and its restrictions of Civil Liberties in the United States or the current economic crisis and meltdown in the United States.
Furthermore you must watch a couple of CNN or CBS news programs and read a couple of articles from the L.A. Times or the Wall Street Journal or any mainstream media of your choice on at least one current major foreign policy issue/ crisis AND at least one current major domestic issue/ crisis.
Please read the examples provided above.This is also a must. This is not optional.
Then you must compare and contrast the coverage of those issues by both the Mainstream media; (CNN, L.A.Times,…), and the non mainstream Media; KPFK F.M. 90.7, the Nation Magazine.
After that you must answer all of the following questions:
1) What does Dr. Parenti mean by “He Who Pays the Piper” and by “the ideological monopoly”? Based on your research which media (mainstream or non mainstream) is guilty of those charges? (Manifests ideological monopoly the way described by Dr. Parenti.)
2) Which one, the mainstream or the non mainstream media deals with the root causes of current issues or crisis like the Palestinian Israeli conflict, the Patriotic Act and the restrictions of Civil Liberties in the United States.
3) What does Dr. Parenti mean by the “official manipulation?” Based on your research did you see more official manipulation in the mainstream media or the non Mainstream Media? Which one feeds us the official line of the current U.S. administration and why? In other words which one of the two media: mainstream or non mainstream, feeds us the official line and which one is doing a better job to play its role as the watchdog?
4) Focus on section on “Prevailing Themes in Political News” and “Limited Fragmented, and incoherent political information.” PP: 166-168 (The struggle for Democracy.) Which one of the two: Mainstream or Non mainstream is guilty of those charges.
5) In your essay you must include KPFK’s programs comparison with either CBS or CNN news programs. If you live in an area that you cannot get that radio station you can go on line and listen to that station on line. The on line address of that station is http://www.kpfk.org/ or http://www.kpfk.org/programs/ these two links both give you access to KPFK and give you the option of listening to or reading the programs of your choice online.