i Preparing a political campaign requires a specific protocolfor raising funds and developing a strategy; in both cases, modern technologies are acknowledgedto play an increasingly important role. Carrying out the campaign is now done primarily viathe media. To understand the role of media in modern politics, it is important to understand the history of media as a business
5 enterprise, the consequent dependency on attracting as large an audience for their advertisers as possible, and the effect this need has had on the domainof political news, including political campaigns. Parties and candidates gain access to the media via legally required free time, paid advertising, free news coverage, and direct-contact media, such as direct mailings, telephone calls, and e-mail lists. The prioritiesof media reporters and publishers are to use political news to
10 attract as large an audience as possible and also to meet the demands of the media owners, who may have specific political agendas of their own. An increasing trend,especially in the United States, in the use of alternativemedia, such as the Internet and cable television, involves gathering a large portion of political information from paid ads.
Remarkable new technologies and infrastructuresare now in place to aidthe spread of
15 communications of all forms. Communications satellites, first used to present the news in the 1980s, are now being launched at the rate of over 80 new systems per year. Fiber-optic cables are providing even better quality and more accessible two-way communication capability. Digital compression makes it possible to have more channelsin the same radio frequency space and is much cheaper than sending programs by satellite. The Internet provides "virtualtelevision" as
20 well as printed political news. Cable television has shown remarkable growth and diversity, ranging in scopefrom liberalor fundamentalist programming to the unhurried, carefully balanced, and noninterventionistdirect reporting of C-SPAN. Fax machines, satellite television, computer modems, and radio talk shows have come to China and other nations where only afew years ago color television was a rarity. The Pan African News Agency, located in Senegal on the
25 west coast of Africa, has installed satellite and Internet communications systems to substitutefor
CHAPTER 13 • POIITICAE SCIENCE
telegraph and radio transmissions that were often interrupted by desert dust storms or heavy rains. The telecommunications industries of the European states are also coordinating their own information highways.
There is a presumptionthat any group, anywhere, should be able to reach any overseas
30 location with the new technologies. However, not all political parties have enough finances allocatedto use this technology, and not all citizens can access it. Citizen response to political news is heavily influenced by economic and social limits to access, and the disparities arc great. Internet use is an example: As of January 2001, the ratioof American households with personal computers compared to those without was 4 to 1, and 100 million people were online; however,
35 in Africa only 11 of the continents 43 nations had full Internet service, and even in those
nations, access was severely limited by poor or nonexistent phone service, while in China the fees for the installation of telephone equipmentcan still reach as high as $600.
We ourselves seldom know how the media is affecting us. There is considerable evidence that U.S. citizens rely heavily on candidates' ads to "get some sense of what a candidate is like"; when
40 asked, 62 percent either completely or mostly agree that "I often don't become aware of political candidates until I see their advertising on television." On the other hand, 74 percent say that news reports give them a better idea of where a candidate stands on the issues than do ads, and 65 percent prefer news reports to taped ads for getting an "idea of what a candidate is like personally." Those with Internet access can sample candidate and party Web pages, but many
45 apparently do so only to extract rationalizationsfor their support of a candidate while ignoring contraryinformation.
Although those who pay attention to media coverage of campaigns tend to be better educated and more interested and active in politics, they do not appear to remember much of what they watch, hear, or read. Studies in which television viewers have been interviewed show
50 extremely limited recall. After an intervalof two hours, viewers of a television network news show can normally remember only one of the twenty or so stories usually presented. News stories that focus on personalities and domestic news items are "better recognized and better recalled than standard political news." In the United States, citizens do somewhatbetter at retaining personal information about candidates, and they remember best of all favorable information
55 about the candidates they prefer.
Thus, although it is obviously true that the media are a powerful force in shaping our ideas about the nature of political reality, political scientists have a long way to go in determining how much influence the media really have and the best ways to channel it. For the consumers of media information, it is important to remember that political news is rarely, if ever, neutral
6o because the content of media publicationsis almost always biased in some way at the discretionof the publisher.
Adapted from Kay Lawson, The Human Polity: A Comparative Introduction to Political Science, 5 th ed. (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2003), 239-41, 248-49.
134 Essential Academic Vocabulary
1. Vocabulary in Context
Determine how the words in column A are used in the reading. Then choose a word in column B that is closest in meaning.
1. Complete the chart by listing the features of each new technology mentioned in the second paragraph.
communications satellites over 30 new systems launched per year
fiber-optic cables digital compression the Internet
Chapter 13 • Political Science 135
2. What facts did you learn about the communications systems of countries on the following continents?
3. Scan the reading for the following numbers, percentages, and dates. Write them on the blank preceding each appropriate statement.
62 percent $600 74 percent 100 million 65 percent
about 20 1980s 80+ 11 43
a. ____________ the cost of installing a telephone in China
b. ____________ the percentage of people who don't know much about candidates until
they see political ads on television
c. ____________ the number of countries in Africa
d. ____________ when the first satellites were used to present news
e. ____________ the number of Internet users in the U.S. in 2001
f. _____________ the percentage of people who think that news reports do a better job
than advertisements at stating a candidate's opinion on the issues
g. ____________ the number of new satellite systems launched each year
h. ____________ the number of African countries with complete Internet service
i. ____________ the percentage of people who believe that ads do a worse job than news
reports in conveying a candidate's personality
j. ____________ the approximate number of stories presented on a single network news
4. Indicate whether the following statements are true (T) or false (F) about the studies in the fifth paragraph that describe the recall ability of television viewers.
a____ Viewers tend to remember stories that emphasize political issues.
b.____ Americans tend to recall positive information about their favorite candidates.
c____ Television viewers remember most of the stories they see on news shows.
d.____ A news item about a movie star would probably be better remembered than an
overseas political report.
e.____ Political information about a candidate is not recalled as well as personal
Essential Academic Vocabulary
^m Making Inferences
1. Give examples to illustrate the meanings of the following methods that political parties and candidates use to gain access to the media.
a. legally required free time_____________________________
b. paid advertising____________________________________
c. free news coverage__________________________________
d. direct-contact media_________________________________
2. What can you infer about the possible reasons for the limited recall of political news by television viewers in the United States?
3. Political advertising via technological media is currently less
available in some areas of the world. What impact might this have on politics and voting?
You remember only 10-15 percent of words you hear or read only once. By developing effective strategies for reviewing words at steadily increasing intervals, word recall is increased.
3. Dictionary Skills
Study the dictionary entry for the word neutral. Define the following phrases or provide an example for each one.
neu*tral(noo'tral) adj. l.a. Not supporting either side in a war, dispute, or contest: a neutral nation, b. Not belonging to either side in a conflict: neutral territory. 2. Describing a color, such as gray, black, beige, or white, that lacks strong hue: / bought a neutral-colored coat that goes with all of my clothes. 3. Without definite or distinctive characteristics: a neutral flavor. 4. In chemistry, neither acid nor alkaline: a neutral solution. 5. Having positive electric charges exactly balanced by negative electric charges: a neutral atom. -n. [U] A position (especially in a vehicle) in which gears are not engaged, so no power can be transmitted: Leave the car in neutral while I check the engine.
1. a neutral-colored car_________________________________________________
2. a neutral country____________________________________________________
3. a neutral flavor_____________________________________________________
4. a neutral substance___________________________________________________
5. in neutral gear______________________________________________________
Using collocations from exercise A, write nine sentences that clearly illustrate the meanings of the collocations.
.j Alter native medicine^, using herbs and pianos to cure illnesses, has become much more popular in recent years.______________________________________________
Chapter 13 • Political Science 139
HiiThe suffixes in the chart are common adjective endings. Add two adjectives with the same suffix to each row in the chart.
chemical, manual, legal, annual,
active, creative, attractive, talkative,
evident, dependent, constant, apparent,
athletic, classic, ethnic, poetic,
childish, foolish, selfish, babyish,
ambiguous, humorous, delicious, nervous,
considerable, capable, favorable, comfortable,
Kill You attended a lecture last week by Dr. James Smithton, a visiting professor, and you want to describe the lecture to a friend. Fill in the blanks with appropriate adjectives from the chart.
1. The lecture was____________
2. Dr. Smithton was
3. His voice was___
4. His appearance was____________
5. His interaction with the audience was
6. The topic of the lecture was_______
Essential Academic Vocabulary
7. The details and examples were____________
8. The person sitting next to me was____________
9. The questions after the lecture were____________
10. At the reception afterward, the snacks were____________
EO Writing a Speech
You have been assigned to introduce Shirley Rodrigues, a Democratic candidate for mayor in the local election in your town, at a political meeting that will be attended by members of the community and the local media. You have been given a few notes about her and must prepare a short introduction outlining her achievements and the reasons she is the best candidate for the position. Add twoadditional details, using words from this chapter. Arrange the information from these notes in a logical and interesting way.
V acknowledged expert in economics
>- received allocations of funding for various community projects in the past
V- cooperative team member
)► close relationships with her colleagues
>- political interests are broad in scope
> knowledgeable about how to make use of alternative media ^ able to channel people's energy in the right direction
!► helped to build communications infrastructure in this town
V has worked extensively overseas
V political publications well known in the community
Today I'm pleased to introduce Shirley Rodrigues, who_______________________________
Let us all support Ms. Rodrigues in her pursuit of the position of mayor in this town.
Chapter 13 • Political Science
E3 Paragraph Writing
Write a response to oneof the following topics. Include at least six to eight vocabulary wordsin your paragraph.
1. What politician, past or present, from any country, do you admire the most? What was the politician's position and political party affiliation? Why do you admire this person? Write a biographical paragraph that describes this persons contributions to the national or global political environment.
2. Watch a television news show or listen to a radio news program, focusing on a political ad or a story that describes a political event or a politician. Take notes as you listen and evaluate the information for its accuracy and emotional appeal. Write a paragraph summarizing the ad or story. At the end of the summary, state your opinion about whether the information presented was neutral or biased in a specific way and for what purpose.
E3 Partner Activity: Explaining a Political Cartoon
Find a political cartoon that you understand in a magazine, a newspaper, or on the Internet. Explain the content of the cartoon to a partner. Include any necessary background information, such as political events, political party, and political personalities, so that your partner can understand the cartoon and appreciate its humor. Add your observations about the following:
• the type of media in which the cartoon appeared
• the political bias of the publication
• the style of drawing
• the message in the text
• emotional appeal
• tone and style
• the type of humor
• the accuracy of the message
Essential Academic Vocabulary
E3 Group Discussion: Voting Rates
In the United States, only about half of the registered voters participate in national elections. Compared to other countries and political systems, this is a very low rate. In small groups, discuss some possible reasons for low voter turnout and compare this information to that of other countries you know. How might the following factors influence the rate of voting?
For more activities related to this chapter, go to the Essential Academic Vocabulary website.
• educational level of voters
• minimum age of voter registration
• age of voter
• marital status
• income level
• ethnic group
• attitude toward politics
• access to voting location
• hours of voting
• level of interest in the candidates
• political party affiliation
tssf.riAL Academic Vocabularv
1. What do linguists study?
2. How can you define language? What is the role of grammar in language?
3. What linguistic problems have you experienced in learning a foreign or second language?
4. How do animals communicate with each other? Give some specific examples of animal communication.
5. How is animal communication different from human communication?
6. What kinds of animals have been taught to communicate with humans? What methods have they used to communicate? How successful have they been?