Role of the Media in the American Political System

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Today’s media, be it in print, on the television, internet, or talk radio, plays a major role in the American political system. The media is owned by several companies and is out to make a profit. Some of these large companies are CNN, FOX, NBC, various talk radio programs, and popular items in print from Newsweek, The New York Times, The Washington Post, etc. These media outlets are all influenced by many sources, as are our top political figures. It seems the media is growing more powerful with time which is, in my opinion, both good and bad. The media takes full advantage of their first amendment right and the freedom of the press. The media has three main roles and responsibilities to the American public, which I will cover in detail. I will explain how these responsibilities fit in with my current events project on our economy. Our politicians have a great influence over what the media reports as well. At times the role of the media and the influence of politicians collide. Who wins out in the end is a complicated matter and is a very hot topic at present. I will elaborate on this idea and conclude with my thoughts on the “conservatives” charge that the media in general has a very liberal bias. The word “media” can be described many different ways, in both a positive and negative light. The influence of the media and definition of the term depends on the time to which you are referring too. Our course notes describe the media as, “a term applied to public and private organizations that convey information mostly for profit but sometimes for the public good.” Several things in that statement make me raise an eyebrow. A key fact here is that the media is owned and is out to turn a profit. As we all know, any time money is involved, it can lead to greed and corruption. Most media sources are privately held in a very competitive market. Another
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