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ERIC Number: ED398612
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996-Jul
Pages: 24
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Do the Media Undermine Democracy?
Dorman, William A.
This paper considers political reasoning within a democracy and how mass media may affect that process, as well as how the perspective and method of critical thinking may be brought to bear on the subject of media and politics. Specifically, the paper (1) discusses some ways in which the mass media may affect political reasoning; (2) offers a critique of mass media and journalism in the contemporary political process, including comments on political advertising; and (3) considers some classroom strategies based on critical thinking for approaching the subject. Arguing that the media are best studied and understood as constituting an ecological system that has everything to do with the shape of an individual's interior world, the paper first presents a critique of the media, focusing on media bias and making a case for the media's habit of "paying more attention to fluff than substance." The paper then discusses political advertising, especially the "negative advertising" so often practiced in political commercials on television. Noting the need for those who follow the media on politics to "think reflectively," the paper concludes by offering nine class exercises that should help in thinking critically, including: keeping a media log; studying the agenda setting function of media; demonstrating the corporate nature of today's media; demonstrating what sources of authority are cited in news stories; and demonstrating how media "represent" social reality. (NKA)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A