Propaganda & Mass Persuasion

Thursday, May 03, 2012

The New Yorker - January 25, 2010 "Non-Stop News" By Ken Auletta

In the non-stop media cycle that occurs today, the president is not the only voice.  The cycle of news is getting shorter and there is no pause between coverage.

During Obama’s campaign he was heavily favored by the press.  The momentum and novelty of his candidacy produced many favorable stories in the press.  The Obama campaign also used new media, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, to “go around” the press.  The obsession America had with the Obama family continued after the election during Obamas first 100days in office.

In the White house Obama has tried to get reporters to pull their punches.  He promised a transparent White House.  Although, only the parts he wanted transparent. Obama both mocks the media but also courts them.  He has hosted many lunches and dinners for TV anchors and columnists and pays particular attention the Times. The Obama administration is very good at getting at working the press to let out the stories and information they want while controlling leaks.

Because of the non-stop coverage in today’s news, reporters are overworked.  They very rarely have time for an in-depth story or interview. The look for a quick response and the coverage tends to be more superficial.  For the White House, the non-stop coverage makes it harder for them to drive a story they want. 

One of the methods used by the Obama administration during an era of non-stop coverage is media saturation.  Since people have so many options forgetting their news and because the topic changes so quickly, in order to be visible to everyone, it is important to have as much coverage as possible. 

One of the biggest problems the White House faces is that many more people are getting their news from cable which tends to be either left or right leaning.  The news looks for the controversy in a story in order to sell it. White House aides have even gotten into spats with Fox News and The Wall Street Journal, both right leaning news organizations. 
Obama has criticized the news organizations for focusing on the extreme elements of both sides.  All they are looking for is conflict.  Instead of looking for fresh, original journalism everyone is chasing the same simple story


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