- Evaluating media/news sources
In the United States of America, the mass media plays a crucial role in transmitting information to the wider audience that is the American public. Mass media may include the television channels, newspapers, radio and to some extent, the internet. These sources give different types of information to the consumers, depending on their preference or orientation to the political parties.
- CBS Corporation
The CBS Corporation puts much of its emphasis on publishing, commercial broadcasting and television production. Most of the corporation’s operations are based in the United States of America. Currently, Leslie Moonies serves as the corporation’s chief executive officer. The company’s majority shareholder is Sumner Redstone, who is also the owner of National Amusements. This corporation gives the consumers a lot of information since it covers almost all forms of broadcasting, ranging from the CBS Television Network, the CW, CBS Radio, the CBS Television Distribution Group and 27 television stations. To add to this rich platform, the corporation supplies videos to the Video Marketplace of Google. The corporation has a history of donating to both Democrats and Republicans, as shown in 2014 when it donated $14000 to Democrats and $34000 to Republicans.
- The Blaze
This is a libertarian conservative television network that deals with news, entertainment and information. The corporation was found by Glenn Beck, an entrepreneur who was also a talk radio personality. In the United States, the Channel is available on the regional cable providers. It is also internationally available through its own services of online streaming. The corporation has its headquarters in Dallas, and it was formerly known as GBTV. As already argued above, this corporation is independent and is not biased towards any political party. To this effect, it has never donated to any political party.
- News Corporation
This corporation has its holdings in the Fox Broadcasting Company, cable and television networks, print publications, magazines, film production companies, websites among several other holdings. The major shareholder in the company is the Murdoch family, owning about 12 percent of the shares. The other major shareholder in the company is John Malone, the CEO of the Liberty Media. The company covers more information, partly because of the several media that it owned. On the political front, the corporation has donated millions to the Association of Republican Governors. This move was criticized by the Democrats who claimed the corporation had leanings to the Republican political parties. Effectively, though to a small extent, the information that the corporation spreads is biased, giving the Republicans an upper hand.
- Fox News
This is a satellite and cable television channel in America owned by Fox Entertainment Group. Roger Ailes was the channel’s founding CEO and up to date, the channel has become a dominant force in America as far as news reporting is concerned. There have been claims that this channel promotes the political positions of the Conservatives, hence leading to biased reporting. Historically, this channel has been biased on the information that it presents to the public. It has always favored the Republican Party, though there are no known donations that it has made.
- Organizations, Interest Groups, Parties and Pacts
- Move On
This is a group of around eight million Americans who seek to use innovative technology in order to win, lead and participate in campaigns that have as their main aim the need for progressive change. Politically, the group seeks to employ online tools in order to reduce the barriers in the participation of democracy. This organization directly influences politics as most Americans get the chance to voice their opinions on the political process.
- Media matters
This is a non-profit organization that is web-based. In one way or another, this organization seeks to provide progressive research that is dedicated towards monitoring and analyzing the conservative misinformation that is given by the media in U.S. This organization is dedicated to ensuring that the news that is released to people meets the basic required criteria, and that it meets the conservative agenda. By providing responses to news given by the media, the organization plays a crucial role in addressing the news on political issues, thereby giving the consumers a better chance of understanding the happenings in the nation. Through this way, the organization directly, through its policies and practices, influences politics in America.
- Tides Foundation
This is a nonprofit foundation, which has its locations in San Francisco. This foundation was established in the year 1976 by Drummond Pike, who was a California-based activist. In essence, this foundation was mainly put up as a charity to receive funds from donors before channeling it to recipients. The foundation has in several occasions given its opinion on matters of political nature, including giving funds after the 9/11 attacks on US in order to advocate for a peaceful national response to the matter. Through such steps, the foundation influences politics in one way or another.
- Weather Underground
This was an organization by the American radical left, founded in the Ann Arbor campus. In 1969, this organization organized the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) faction, which had most of its leaders from the national office of the SDS and the organization’s supporters by then. In essence, the organization’s prime aim was to form a revolutionary party in order to overthrow the government of America. It is important to note that this organization carried out several campaigns on bombings and even participated in actions such as jailbreak. Their attempts to overthrow the government communicated their displeasure on the manner that the regime by then ran the country.
- Center for American Progress
This is a liberal public policy research organization that seeks to improve Americans’ lives through ideas and action that is progressive in nature. The center is headquartered in Washington D.C, and it presents a viewpoint to both political and economic issues. This organization is chaired by John Podesta, who was its first president and CEO. Most papers have hailed the organization as being the single outside group that has swayed much transition to the political arena. The organization has been likened to having a similar effect to the one that Heritage Foundation had in guiding Ronald Reagan’s transition.
- Organization for America
This was the Democratic National Committee’s organizing project, which was founded immediately after Obama was inaugurated. Important to note is the fact that the Organization for America intended to mobilize supporters in order to accept the legislative priorities in the Obama administration. This was essentially as regards to the health care reform. To a large extent, this group played a crucial role in the 2010-midterm elections. By mobilizing people to accept the Obama policies, the organization had a direct influence on the American politics. However, the organization has a poor record since it has been accused for voter fraud.
- Media Research Center
This is an organization that aims to deal with politically conservative content analysis. Its main goal is to prove that liberal bias exists in the media, effectively undermining the American values. In essence, it aims to neutralize such bias in the mainstream media
- Freedom works
This is a non-profit organization that is conservative and libertarian in nature. The organization is also non-profit, with its key aim being to train volunteers and promote campaigns that encourage the citizens to interact about their representatives politically.
- The Heritage Foundation
This organization is considered as conservative think tank in America. Effectively, the foundation’s core aim is to promote public policies that are conservative, based on the principles of limited government, free enterprise and individual freedom. In essence, this foundation played a crucial role in Ronald Reagan’s era, who drew most of his policies from the foundation.
- Human events
This is an organization in America that seeks to provide accurate presentation of facts in the media. To a large extent, the group aims to look at different events through impartial eyes that favor individual freedom and private enterprise.
- National Review
This is a magazine in America that is produced fortnightly, founded by William F. Buckley. This magazine is widely read and is influential in the conservative news, opinions and commentaries. In most cases, the magazine has addressed several political issues, through which it has shaped the political perspectives of people.
- Analysis and Culminating Activity
- What do you understand by agenda 21?
Person 1: This is non-binding action plan for member states to the UN to promote sustainable development in the 21st century.
Person 2: It is a universal plan to ensure that countries achieve sustainable development
Person 3: I have no idea about agenda 21, though I have heard it before.
Person 4: It is a yardstick to measure development in the modern times
Person 5: It is an international plan to achieve development throughout the world
Person 6: It is a guideline used by member states to the U.N to achieve development
Person 7: It is a voluntary action plan by U.N to promote development
Person 8: It is an agenda to promote development
Person 9: It refers to U.N’s action plan to facilitate sustainable economic development
Person 10: It is a 21st century target by the members of the U.N to promote sustainable development.
- What is your take on the American drones?
Person 1: It is a good move by the state in that it promotes security of the nation
Person 2: As long as they are domestically used and the state does not use them to subject the citizens to fear, I have no objection
Person 3: The fact that they do not need anybody to accompany them when on air is a good step in ensuring that people are not exposed to unnecessary risks.
Person 4: They promote the security of a nation in that they can survey the nation without any life being endangered
Person 5: They increase government spending and as such, they should be done away with
Person 6: The fact that they are unmanned makes them a risk in that they may wander to directions that they are not directed to
Person 7: Their usage should be strictly monitored in order to avoid accidents
Person 8: They show the extent to which America has developed over the past
Person 9: They are a threat to security since they can be attacked by other rivaling nations while on air.
Person 10: They are a sign of the technological progress of America.
- What is your take on Obamacare
Person 1: It is another term for the Patient Protection and Affordable Car Act
Person 2: It refers to the statute that was signed by Obama into law to increase affordability of the health insurance
Person 3: It was intended to lower the uninsured rates of people through expanding both private and public coverage of insurance.
Person 4: It was a statute that was signed by Obama with the aim of reducing the costs of healthcare in the country
Person 5: It refers to the reforms that were introduced by the Obama government that aim to ensure all citizens receive quality healthcare
Person 6: It is an initiative by the government to reduce the costs of healthcare in the country.
Person 7: It is a governmental directive to the insurance companies to cover all the applicants and to offer similar rates without any form of discrimination
Person 8: I have no idea of what Obamacare is.
Person 9: It is a governmental initiative to compel all healthcare providers to lower their rates when giving people medical attention
Person 10: It is a policy that aims to ensure that all Americans are well covered as far as healthcare is concerned.
- Which media channel do you trust most to provide you with relevant political developments?
Person 1: fox news
Person 2: Fox news
Person 3: The blaze
Person 4: The blaze
Person 5: CNN
Person 6: CNN
Person 7: Fox News
Person 8: The blaze
Person 9: The blaze
Person 10: CNN
- Do you support the Fast and Furious movement action?
Person 1: No, that was a dangerous move by the government that could have allowed people to illegally own firearms
Person 2: As far as the government had proper mechanisms of tracking down the drug dealers, I have no issue with it.
Person 3: Although it was a risky move, the end justified the move as most of the drug dealers were arrested.
Person 4: The move could have turned out to be dangerous even before the government could arrest the drug dealers.
Person 5: It depends on which perspective one decides to analyze the whole issue from
Person 6: That was a right move by the government as the intended purpose was accomplished.
Person 7: I have no idea of what the movement was all about
Person 8: That was an unnecessary move since I am convinced not all drug dealers were arrested.
Person 9: I fully support the move since it was a strategy to arrest drug dealers
Person 10. It was a well-intended move by the state.
- What is your take on media bias on political issues?
Person 1: It is party-based
Person 2: It misleads people
Person 3: It should be discouraged
Person 4: It misleads people
Person 5: It affects us negatively
Person 6: It should be minimized
Person 7: It should be avoided
Person 8: It misleads people
Person 10: It should be discouraged
- What is your take on laws on Gun Control?
Person 1: Allowing citizens to own guns will put the life of other people at risk
Person 2: Possession of guns by citizens should not be allowed
Person 3: It may increase insecurity levels.
Person 4: It is good for personal safety
Person 5: It should never be allowed
Person 6: Criminals will take advantage of the situation to terrorize citizens
Person 7: It should be illegalized
Person 8: It will be a threat to the country’s security
Person 9: It should never be allowed
Person 10: It should never be allowed as it is a threat to security.
- Do you support the Obama Czars?
Person 1; As long as they do their duty effectively, I have no objection
Person 2: No, this is just a means of rewarding his friends
Person 3: They just add up to the expenses of the government
Person 4: Their appointment raises a lot of questions; they should be elected by the people.
Person 5: Their roles should be defined in order to avoid overlapping with the roles of other authorities
Person 6: I support them fully
Person 7: No, I don’t see the reason why America should have extra personnel
Person 8: They should earn on a pay as you work basis
Person 10: They just bring about controversies in the government.
- How do you perceive the role that the media plays?
Person 1: The media is an important tool in informing the citizens about what is happening around us.
Person 2: The media has been manipulated by politicians to give biased information
Person 3: The media has been used as a campaign tool by the two major parties
Person 4: It plays a big role in educating the citizens on their rights
Person 5: It has created employment to the American citizens
Person 6: The information that the media gives the public is insensitive and misleads the citizens
Person 7: The information that the media gives should first be censored before being released to the public
Person 8: It is a good source of information to the issues that affect the American citizens
Person 9: It has been manipulated by political parties to promote their interests
Person 10: I have no faith in the media.
- What is your take on Government Bailouts of Corporations?
Person 1: They should be discouraged as they waste the tax-payer’s money
Person 2: Corporations should be left alone to deal with their own problems
Person 3: It is important for the government to bail them out since through it, jobs will be secured.
Person 4: It is wastage of the resources of the government
Person 5: It should be discouraged
Person 6: Corporations should be left alone to deal with their own problems
Person 7: It encourages corporations to be careless
Person 8: It promotes development
Person 10: It is a big risk to the economy since the government never recovers the money
The above questions are very essential in attempting to know the citizens’ perception of the contemporary issues that the government faces. For instance, we get to know that most people are divided over the move by the government to bail out corporations. As much as some may see it as a waste of resources, others see it as a move to secure the jobs of the citizens