News Coverage

Print Media

The main form of print media is the newspaper, which is a scheduled publication containing news of current events, and informative articles.

Learning Objectives

Recognize the function and style of the newspaper as a format of media coverage

Key Takeaways

Key Points

  • The emergence of the new media branch in the 17th century has to be seen in close connection with the spread of the printing press from which the publishing press derives its name.
  • Advances in printing technology related to the Industrial Revolution enabled newspapers to become an even more widely circulated means of communication.
  • By the late 1990s, the 24-hour television channels and the Internet posed an ongoing challenge to the business model of newspapers in developed countries. Paid circulation has declined, while advertising revenue has been shifting from print to new media, resulting in a general decline of profits.
  • However, in the rest of the world, cheaper printing and distribution, increased literacy, the growing middle class and other factors have more than compensated for the emergence of electronic media by allowing newspapers in those regions to continue to grow.

Key Terms

  • Newspaper: A newspaper is a scheduled publication containing news of current events, informative articles, diverse features, editorials, and advertising.
  • Hearst Corporation: The Hearst Corporation was one of the large news media corporations of the first part of the 20th century.
  • print media: newspaper, magazines and other printed material that distributes news and information

Newspaper

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The New York Times: The front page of the New York Times on Armistice Day, November 11, 1918.

The main form of print media is the newspaper. A newspaper is a scheduled publication containing news of current events, informative articles, diverse features, editorials, and advertising. It usually is printed on relatively inexpensive, low-grade paper such as newsprint. By 2007, there were 6,580 daily newspapers in the world selling 395 million copies a day. The worldwide recession of 2008, combined with the rapid growth of web-based alternatives, caused a serious decline in advertising and circulation, as many papers closed or sharply reduced operations.

General-interest newspapers typically publish stories on local and national political events and personalities, crime, business, entertainment, society and sports. Most traditional papers also feature an editorial page containing editorials written by an editor and columns that express the personal opinions of writers. The newspaper is typically funded by paid subscriptions and advertising.The emergence of this new media branch in the 17th century has to be seen in close connection with the spread of the printing press from which the publishing press derives its name. The German-language Relation aller Fürnemmen und gedenckwürdigen Historien, printed from 1605 on wards by Johann Carolus in Strasbourg, is often recognized as the first newspaper.

By the early 19th century, many cities in Europe, as well as North and South America, published newspaper-type publications though content was vastly shaped by regional and cultural preferences. Advances in printing technology related to the Industrial Revolution enabled newspapers to become an even more widely circulated means of communication. In 1814, The Times (London) acquired a printing press capable of making 1,100 impressions per minute.

Soon, the printing press was adapted to print on both sides of a page at once. This innovation made newspapers cheaper and thus available to a larger part of the population. In 1830, the first penny press newspaper came to the market: Lynde M. Walter’s Boston Transcript. Penny press papers cost about one sixth the price of other newspapers and appealed to a wider audience. In France, Émile de Girardin started “La Presse” in 1836, introducing cheap, advertising-supported dailies to France.

In the early days of the newspaper business newspapers were often owned by press barons, and were used for gaining a political voice. After 1920 most major newspapers became parts of chains run by large media corporations such as Gannett, The McClatchy Company, Hearst Corporation, Cox Enterprises, Landmark Media Enterprises LLC, Morris Communications, The Tribune Company, Hollinger International, News Corporation, and Swift Communications.

However, newspapers have played an important role in the exercise of freedom of expression. Whistle-blowers and those who “leak” stories of corruption in political circles often choose to inform newspapers before other mediums of communication, relying on the reputation of newspaper editors to expose the secrets and lies that relate to the public. However, there have been many circumstances of the political autonomy of newspapers being curtailed. Recent research has examined the effects of a newspaper’s closing on the reelection of incumbents, voter turnout, and campaign spending.

By the late 1990s, the availability of news via 24-hour television channels and then the Internet posed an ongoing challenge to the business model of most newspapers in developed countries. Paid circulation has declined, while advertising revenue — which makes up the bulk of most newspapers’ income — has been shifting from print to the new media, resulting in a general decline of profits. Many newspapers around the world launched online editions in an attempt to follow or stay ahead of their audience.

The future of newspapers in countries with easy access to the Internet has been widely debated as the industry has faced soaring newsprint prices, slumping ad sales, the loss of much classified advertising, and precipitous drops in circulation. In recent years the number of newspapers slated for closure, bankruptcy or severe cutbacks has risen—especially in the United States, where the industry has shed a fifth of its journalists since 2001. Revenue has plunged while competition from media on the Internet has threatened older print publishers.

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U.S. Newspaper Advertising Revenue: This graph depicts the fall of print advertising revenue and the rise of online advertising revenue.

The debate has become more urgent lately, as a deepening recession has shaved profits, and as once-explosive growth in newspaper web revenues has leveled off, forestalling what the industry hoped would become an important source of its revenue. At issue is whether the newspaper industry faces a cyclical trough, or whether new technology has rendered newspapers obsolete in their traditional format.

However, in the rest of the world, cheaper printing and distribution, increased literacy, the growing middle class and other factors have more than compensated for the emergence of electronic media by allowing newspapers in those regions to continue to grow.

Major American newspapers include: New York Times, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post. Major American news magazines include: Newsweek, TIME, and U.S. News & World Report.

Radio News

Stations dedicated to news will often feature newscasts, or bulletins, usually at the top of the hour, between 3 and 8 minutes in length.

Learning Objectives

Explain the role of radio news in media coverage and recent trends in radio news

Key Takeaways

Key Points

  • Many stations brand themselves as news radio but only run continuous news during the morning and afternoon drive times. These stations are properly identified as talk radio stations.
  • Some National Public Radio stations brand themselves as news and information stations, which means that in addition to running the NPR news magazines like Morning Edition and All Things Considered, they run other information programs such as Fresh Air, Talk of the Nation, and the BBC World Service.
  • The standard format was to start each half hour with world and national news from a network, then switch to locally-anchored area news, filling out the half hour with sports, business news, and features.
  • In 1994, an effort similar to NIS was launched by the Associated Press. It was officially known as AP All-News Radio and had many affiliates from coast to coast. The Associated Press discontinued the all-news format in July 2005.

Key Terms

  • NIS: In 1975, the NBC Radio Network shut down its profitable weekend music and information service NBC Monitor to launch the News & Information Service (NIS), the first all-news radio network.
  • Arthur W. Arundel: Arthur W. Arundel is credited with creating the first 24-hour all-news station, radio or television, in the United States in January 1961 on his owned and operated WAVA station in Washington.
  • All-News Radio: All-news radio, or talk radio is a radio station where the station’s entire schedule is dedicated to newscasts.

Radio News

Radio station newscasts can range from as little as a minute to as much as the station’s entire schedule, such as the case of all-news radio, or talk radio. Stations dedicated to news or talk will often feature newscasts, or bulletins, usually at the top of the hour, usually between 3 and 8 minutes in length. They can be a mix of local, national, and international news, as well as sport, entertainment, weather, and traffic, or they may be incorporated into separate bulletins. All-news radio stations exist in some countries, primarily located in major metropolitan areas such as New York City, Toronto, and Chicago, which often broadcast local, national, and international news and feature stories on a set time schedule.

All-news radio is a radio format devoted entirely to discussion and broadcast of news. It is available in both local and syndicated forms, and is carried in some form on both major US satellite radio networks. Some all-news stations may carry sports, public affairs programs, simulcasts of TV news magazine, political affairs shows like 60 Minutes and Face the Nation, or national radio shows revolving around news such as the CBS News Weekend Roundup. Many stations brand themselves as news radio but only run continuous news during the morning and afternoon drive times. These stations are properly identified as talk radio stations. Also, some National Public Radio stations brand themselves as News and Information stations, which means that in addition to running the NPR news magazines like Morning Edition and All Things Considered, they run other information programs such as Fresh Air, Talk of the Nation, and the BBC World Service.

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NPR: National Public Radio, one of the News and Information stations.

History

Broadcasting pioneer Arthur W. Arundel is credited with creating the first 24-hour all- news station, radio or television, in the United States in January 1961 on his owned and operated WAVA in Washington. The station’s success was largely driven by the the fact that the nation’s capital was riveted to news of the Vietnam War and the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, and Robert F. Kennedy. Arundel helped other stations in New York and Chicago also to convert to his all-news format and then met direct competition from Washington Post-owned WTOP in 1969.

All-news has for years been a top-rated radio format in New York, Washington, D.C., and other cities, but as big city traffic worsens and people work longer hours that increase the urgency of planning their day ahead, the focus of such stations has increasingly been on traffic and weather, often updated every 10 minutes. Attempts at long-form commercial all-news stations, such as Washington Post Radio, have been largely unsuccessful.

The Rise of Conservative Talk Radio

Conservative talk radio (or right talk) is a talk radio format in the United States devoted to expressing conservative viewpoints of issues, as opposed to progressive talk radio. In 1987, the FCC abolished the Fairness Doctrine, and AM radio began to make changes. The changes paved the way for syndicated personality Rush Limbaugh and others like him to rise to prominence by “offering a voice for the ‘silent majority'” that he believed had gone unheard by the mainstream media. Within the next decade, conservative talk radio schedules had developed the most listener loyalty (highest ratings) and performed particularly well when compared with most mixed or liberal /progressive talk radio. By 1991, Limbaugh had become the number one most syndicated radio host and AM radio had been revived.

The September 11, 2001 attacks brought on a wave of nationalism and a desire to rally around the United States and its government, which was led at the time by the Republican Party. This environment led to a large increase in national conservative talk radio hosts: The Glenn Beck Program, The Sean Hannity Show, The Laura Ingraham Show, Batchelor and Alexander and The Radio Factor all launched into national syndication at this time. Conservative talk radio includes personalities, both local and nationally-syndicated, such as Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Michael Savage, and many others. As of 2013, Limbaugh and Hannity are the most listened-to radio programs of any format in the United States, and other conservative talk shows also rank highly. [2] Conservative talk is heard almost entirely on commercial radio; public radio in the United States has historically been perceived as having a more liberal lean, and noncommercial community radio is generally very progressive in ideology.

Television News

A news bulletin or newscast is a television program that provides updates on world, national, or local news events.

Learning Objectives

Discuss the structure, content and style of television news

Key Takeaways

Key Points

  • Newscasts differ in content, tone, and presentation style depending on the format of the channel on which they appear as well as their time slot. In most parts of the world, national television networks will have network bulletins featuring national and international news.
  • The top rating shows will often be in the evening at “prime time”, but there are also often breakfast time newscasts of two to three hours in length. Rolling news channels broadcast news 24 hours a day.
  • Television news is very image-based, showing video of many of the events that are reported.

Key Terms

  • Newscasts: Newscasts consist of several reporters or guest commentators being interviewed by an anchor, known as a “two-way. ” There may also be breaking news stories which will present live rolling coverage.
  • Television News: Television news refers to disseminating current events via the medium of television.

Television news

Television news refers to disseminating current events via the medium of television. A “news bulletin” or a “newscast” are television programs lasting from seconds to hours that provide updates on world, national, regional, or local news events. Television news is very image-based, showing video of many of the events that are reported. Television channels may provide news bulletins as part of a regularly scheduled news program. Less often, television shows may be interrupted or replaced by breaking news (“news flashes”) to provide news updates on current or sudden events of great importance. Walter Kronkite is one of the iconic figures in television anchoring.

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Walter Cronkite: Walter Cronkite, the iconic anchor of CBS Evening News.

Structure, content and style

Newscasts, also known as bulletins or news programs, differ in content, tone, and presentation style depending on the format of the channel on which they appear as well as their timeslot. In most parts of the world, national television networks will have network bulletins featuring national and international news. The top rating shows will often be in the evening at “prime time”, but there are also often breakfast time newscasts of two to three hours in length. Rolling news channels broadcast news 24 hours a day. Local news may be presented by stand-alone local TV stations, local stations affiliated with national networks, or by local studios which “opt-out” of national network programming at specified times. Different news programming may be aimed at different audiences, depending on age, socio-economic group, or demographic. “Magazine-style” television shows may mix news coverage with topical lifestyle issues, debates, or entertainment content.

Newscasts consist of several reporters or guest commentators being interviewed by an anchor, known as a “two-way. ” There may also be breaking news stories which will present live rolling coverage.

Packages will usually be filmed at a relevant location and edited in an editing suite in a newsroom or a edit suite in a location some distance from the newsroom. They may also be edited in mobile editing trucks, or satellite trucks, and transmitted back to the newsroom. Live coverage will be broadcast from a relevant location and sent back to the newsroom via fixed cable links, microwave radio, production truck, satellite truck, or online streaming. Most news shows are broadcast live.

In the early twenty-first century news programs, especially those of commercial networks, tended to become less oriented toward hard news, and often regularly included “feel-good stories” or humorous reports as the last items on their newscasts, as opposed to news programs transmitted thirty years earlier, such as the CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite. From their beginnings until around 1995, evening television news broadcasts continued featuring serious news stories right up to the end of the program, as opposed to later broadcasts with such anchors as Katie Couric, Brian Williams, and Diane Sawyer.

New Media

An important promise of new media is the “democratization” of the creation, publishing, distribution and consumption of media content.

Learning Objectives

Explain the influence of the new media on politics and social movements

Key Takeaways

Key Points

  • The rise of new media has increased communication between people all over the world and the Internet. It has allowed people to express themselves through blogs, websites, pictures, and other user-generated media.
  • Some are also skeptical of the role of new media in social movements. Many scholars point out unequal access to new media as a hindrance to broad-based movements, sometimes even oppressing some people within a movement.
  • New media changes continuously because it is constantly modified and redefined by the interaction between users, emerging technologies, and cultural changes.

Key Terms

  • new media: New media refers to on-demand access to content any time, any where, on any digital device, as well as the interactive user feedback, creative participation, and community formation around the media content.
  • Virtual Communities: “Virtual communities” are being established online and transcend geographical boundaries, eliminating social restrictions.
  • Zapatista Army of International Liberation: The Zapatista Army of International Liberation of Chiapas, Mexico were the first major movement to make widely recognized and effective use of new media for communiques and organizing in 1994.

New media refers to on-demand access to content any time, any where, on any digital device, as well as the interactive user feedback, creative participation, and community formation around the media content. Another important promise of new media is the “democratization” of the creation, publishing, distribution, and consumption of media content. illustrates the interactive form of communication that may exist in emerging social media.

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Communication Diagram: This diagram illustrates the interactive form of communication that may exist in social media.

Most technologies described as “new media” are digital, often having characteristics of being manipulated, networkable, dense, compressible, and interactive. Some examples may be the Internet, websites, computer multimedia, video games, CD-ROMS, and DVDs. Facebook is an example of the social media model, in which most users are also participants.

There is growing consensus that new media will:

  • Alter the meaning of geographic distance.
  • Allow for a huge increase in the volume of communication.
  • Provide the possibility of increasing the speed of communication.
  • Provide opportunities for interactive communication.
  • Allow forms of communication that were previously separate to overlap and interconnect.

Consequently it has been the contention of scholars such as Douglas Kellner and James Bohman that new media, and particularly the Internet, provide the potential for a democratic postmodern public sphere, in which citizens can participate in well informed, non-hierarchical debate. Contradicting these positive appraisals of the potential social impact of new media are scholars such as Ed Herman and Robert McChesney who have suggested that the transition to new media has seen a handful of powerful transnational telecommunications corporations achieve a level of global influence which was previously unimaginable.

The rise of new media has increased communication between people all over the world and the Internet. It has allowed people to express themselves through blogs, websites, pictures, and other user-generated media.

“Virtual communities” are being established online and transcend geographical boundaries, eliminating social restrictions. While this perspective suggests that the technology drives – and therefore is a determining factor – in the process of globalization, arguments involving technological determinism are generally frowned upon by mainstream media studies. Instead academics focus on the multiplicity of processes by which technology is funded, researched and produced, forming a feedback loop when the technologies are used and often transformed by their users, which then feeds into the process of guiding their future development.

Social movement media has a rich and storied history that has changed at a rapid rate since new media became widely used. The Zapatista Army of International Liberation of Chiapas, Mexico were the first major movement to make widely recognized and effective use of new media for communiques and organizing in 1994. Since then, new media has been used extensively by social movements to educate, organize, communicate, coalition build, share cultural products, and more. People are taking advantage of the Internet to produce a grassroots globalization, one that is anti-neoliberal and centered on people rather than the flow of capital. Of course, some are also skeptical of the role of new media in social movements. Many scholars point out unequal access to new media as a hindrance to broad-based movements, sometimes even oppressing some people within a movement.

New media has also recently become of interest to the global espionage community as it is easily accessible electronically in database format and can therefore be quickly retrieved and reverse engineered by national governments. Particularly of interest to the espionage community are Facebook and Twitter, two sites where individuals freely divulge personal information that can then be sifted through and archived for the automatic creation of dossiers on both people of interest and the average citizen.

New media changes continuously because it is constantly modified and redefined by the interaction between users, emerging technologies, and cultural changes.

Journalists

A journalist collects, writes, and distributes news and other information, and his or her work is referred to as journalism.

Learning Objectives

Discuss the role of journalists in producing and distributing news and information

Key Takeaways

Key Points

  • Journalism has developed a variety of ethics and standards. While objectivity and a lack of bias are considered important, some types of journalism, such as advocacy journalism, intentionally adopt a non-objective viewpoint.
  • The radio industry has undergone a radical consolidation of ownership, with fewer companies owning the thousands of national stations, resulting in more “niche” formats and the sharing of resources within clusters of stations, de-emphasizing local news and information.
  • Convergence is the sharing and cross-promoting of content from a variety of media, which in theory might all converge and become one medium eventually. In broadcast news, the Internet is a key part of this convergence.

Key Terms

  • Reporter: A reporter is a type of journalist who researches, writes, conducts interviews, and makes reports.
  • Journalist: A journalist collects, writes, and distributes news and other information. A journalist’s work is referred to as journalism.
  • Broadcast Journalism: Broadcast journalism is journalism published through the radio, the television, or the Internet.

Journalist

A journalist collects, writes, and distributes news and other information. A journalist’s work is referred to as journalism. A reporter is a type of journalist who researches, writes, conducts interviews, and makes reports. Reporters may split their time between working in a newsroom and going into the field to witness events or to conduct interviews. Reporters may be assigned a specific beat or area of coverage. Depending on the context, the term journalist may include various types of editors, editorial writers, columnists, and visual journalists, such as photojournalists.

Journalism has developed a variety of ethics and standards. While objectivity and a lack of bias are often considered important, some types of journalism, such as advocacy journalism, intentionally adopt a non-objective viewpoint.

Journalists may expose themselves to danger, particularly when reporting in areas of armed conflict or in states that do not respect the freedom of the press. Organizations such as the Committee to Protect Journalists and Reporters Without Borders publish reports on press freedom and advocate for journalistic freedom. As of November 2011, the Committee to Protect Journalists reports that 887 journalists have been killed worldwide since 1992. The Committee to Protect Journalists also reports that as of December 1, 2010, 145 journalists were jailed worldwide for their work. Current numbers are even higher. The five countries with the largest number of currently-imprisoned journalists are Burma (13), Eritrea (17), Iran (34), China (34), and Turkey (95).

Broadcast journalism is journalism published through the radio, the television, or the Internet. Radio was the first medium for broadcast journalism. Many of the first radio stations were co-operative non-profit community radio ventures. Eventually, radio pioneered advertising as a method to pay for its programs.

Programming can be locally produced, broadcast by a radio network, or aired by syndication. In radio news, stories include “sound bites”, which are the recorded sounds of events themselves, introduced by the anchor or host.

The radio industry has undergone a radical consolidation of ownership, with fewer companies owning the thousands of national stations. Large media conglomerates own most of the radio stations in the United States. This has resulted in more “niche” formats and the sharing of resources within clusters of stations, which de-emphasize local news, such as information pertaining to local emergencies. In addition, these conglomerates greatly narrow the range of political views expressed.

Television news is considered by many to be the most influential medium for journalism. For most of the American public, local news and national TV newscasts are their primary news sources. Television journalism viewership has become fragmented due to the emergence of 24-hour cable news channels such as Cable News Network (CNN) in 1980 and Fox News Channel as well as MSNBC in the 1990s.

Convergence is the sharing and cross-promoting of content from a variety of media, which in theory might all converge and become one medium eventually. In broadcast news, the Internet is a key part of this convergence. Frequently, broadcast journalists also write text stories for the Web, usually accompanied by the graphics and sound of the original story. Web sites also offer the audience an interactive form where they can learn more about a story, can be referred to related articles, and can offer comments on the publication.

A newscaster (short for “news broadcaster”) is a presenter of news bulletins. This person may perform electronic news gathering (ENG) as well as a compile the script for a news bulletin with a television producer.

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Newsroom WHIO: The anchor delivers the news from a news desk, which is located on a news set.

Prior to the television era, radio broadcasts often mixed news with opinion and each presenter strove for a distinctive style. These presenters were referred to as commentators. The last major figure to present commentary in the news broadcast format in the US was Paul Harvey. Today, commentary is generally presented in the talk show format. The term “newscaster” came into common use to distinguish presenters of straight news broadcasts from commentators.

In the United States and Canada, news anchors present material prepared for a news program and, at times, must improvise commentary for live presentation. Many anchors are also write and edit the news for their programs. The term “anchorman” was used to describe Walter Cronkite’s role at the Democratic and Republican National conventions.

Blogs, Podcasts, and Cyberspace

Blogs and podcasts are forms of media that exist within cyberspace and encourage interactions among people.

Learning Objectives

Compare and contrast blogs and podcasts as formats of new media

Key Takeaways

Key Points

  • An early milestone in the importance of blogs came in 2002, when bloggers focused on comments by Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott. Blogging helped to create a political crisis that forced Lott to step down as majority leader.
  • Podcasts, which are audio or video files, are a horizontal form of media: producers are consumers and consumers become producers and engage in conversations with each other. This allows online social interactions.
  • In current usage ” cyberspace ” stands for the global network of interdependent information technology infrastructures, telecommunications networks, and computer processing systems. The term has become a conventional means to describe anything associated with the Internet.

Key Terms

  • blog: A blog is a discussion or informational site published on the internet and consisting of posts typically displayed in reverse chronological order.
  • Podcast: A podcast is a type of digital media consisting of an episodic series of audio, video, PDF, or ePub files subscribed to and downloaded through web syndication or streamed online to a computer or mobile device.
  • Cyberspace: Cyberspace is the electronic medium of computer networks in which online communication takes place.

Cyberspace

Cyberspace is the electronic medium of computer networks in which online communication takes place. Now ubiquitous, in current usage the term “cyberspace” stands for the global network of interdependent information technology infrastructures, telecommunications networks, and computer processing systems. The term has become a conventional means to describe anything associated with the Internet and the diverse Internet culture, such as blogs, podcasts, or social media. The United States government recognizes the interconnected information technology and the interdependent network of information technology infrastructures operating across this medium as part of the US National Critical Infrastructure.

Cyberspace describes the flow of digital data through the network of interconnected computers. It is not “real,” since one cannot spatially locate it as a tangible object, yet “real” in its effects.

Blogs

A blog is a discussion or informational site published on the internet consisting of posts typically displayed in reverse chronological order. Until 2009, blogs were usually the work of a single individual, occasionally of a small group, and often were themed on a single subject. More recently “multi-author blogs” (MABs) have developed. MABs from newspapers, other media outlets, universities, think tanks, interest groups, and similar institutions account for an increasing quantity of blog traffic. The rise of Twitter and other “micro-blogging” systems helps integrate MABs and single-author blogs into societal news streams.

Although not a requirement, most good quality blogs are interactive, allowing visitors to leave comments and even message each other on the blogs. It is this interactivity that distinguishes them from other static websites. In that sense, blogging can be seen as a form of social networking. Indeed, bloggers do not only produce content to post on their blogs, but also build social relations with their readers and other bloggers.

Many blogs provide commentary on a particular subject, others function as personal online diaries, and still others function more as online brand advertising of a particular individual or company. A typical blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs, Web pages, and other media related to its topic. Microblogging is another type of blogging, featuring very short posts. In education, blogs can be used as instructional resources.

Blogs and Politics

An early milestone in the importance of blogs in politics came in 2002, when bloggers focused on comments by Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott. Senator Lott, at a party honoring Senator Strom Thurmond, praised Thurmond by suggesting the United States would have been better off had Thurmond been elected president. Lott’s critics saw these comments as a tacit approval of racial segregation, a policy advocated by Thurmond’s 1948 presidential campaign. This view was reinforced by documents and recorded interviews dug up by bloggers. Though Lott’s comments were made at a public event attended by the media, no major media organizations reported on his controversial comments until after blogs broke the story. Blogging helped to create a political crisis that forced Lott to step down as majority leader.

Similarly, blogs were among the driving forces behind the “Rathergate” scandal. Dan Rather presented documents on the CBS show 60 Minutes that conflicted with accepted accounts of President Bush’s military service record. Bloggers declared the documents to be forgeries and presented evidence and arguments in support of that view. Consequently, CBS apologized for what it said were inadequate reporting techniques. More often, however, news blogs tend to react to material already published by the mainstream media. Meanwhile, an increasing number of experts began blogging, making blogs a source of in-depth analysis.

By 2004, the role of blogs became increasingly mainstream, as political consultants, news services, and candidates began using them as tools for outreach and opinion forming. Blogging was established by politicians and political candidates to express opinions on war and other issues and cemented blogs’ role as news sources.

Podcast

A podcast is a type of digital media consisting of an episodic series of audio, video, PDF, or ePub files subscribed to and downloaded through web syndication or streamed online to a computer or mobile device. Podcasting is both a converged medium bringing together audio, the web, and portable media players, and a disruptive technology that has caused some in the radio business to reconsider certain established practices and preconceptions about audiences, consumption, production, and distribution. It is very much a horizontal media form: producers are consumers and consumers become producers and engage in conversations with each other.

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Senator Trent Lott: The Trent Lott-Strom Thurmond scandal was first picked up and publicized by early political blogs. It marked one of the first times in which mainstream media followed a story publicized in blogs.