Political Campaigns, News Media, and Interest Groups
“When I took the oath of office, I pledged loyalty to only one special interest group – ‘we the people’.” – Ronald Reagan
No doubt about it, news media and interest groups greatly influence American politics.
Today’s modern media has many components including the news media, which includes print media (newspapers, magazines, etc.), radio (AM news radio, etc.), television (ABC, CBS, CNN, FOX, NBC, etc.), and digital (Internet news, social networks, blogs, etc.). (OConner, Sabato, 2018)
The news media can affect public policy via agenda setting and framing:
Major news media outlets:
Interest groups are non-profit, voluntary organizations that seek to affect public policy. (Boundless, n.d.) Although there are a number of ways to classify interest groups, for the sake of simplicity we shall use this model:
Many if not most prominent interest groups form Political Action Committees (PACs). PACs are groups that raise funds in order to contribute money to a political candidate and/or officeholder. PACs are limited on how much money they can contribute. As of the 2019-2020 election cycle, PACs can give each candidate and/or officeholder $5000 during the primary and general election. (CRP, 2019)
More information about Political Action Committees (PACs) and Super Political Action Committees (SPACs) can be found on the Center for Responsive Politics Open Secrets website:
See the following for examples of PAC donations to a House of Representative during the 2019-2020 election cycle:
In this week’s discussion, you will analyze a political campaign’s finances, campaign advertising, media coverage, and special interest involvement.
Select a recent candidate or officeholder at the federal level that you considered supporting with your vote. Note: you may reuse the same person from the Unit 7 Discussion. Analyze this person based on the following criteria:
Boundless. (n.d.). Boundless Political Science. Retrieved from https://courses.lumenlearning.com/boundless-politicalscience/chapter/types-of-interest-groups
Data on Campaign Finance, Super PACs, Industries, and Lobbying. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.opensecrets.org/.
OConnor, K., & Sabato, L. (2018). American Government: Roots and reform. Columbus: Pearson.
What is a PAC? (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.opensecrets.org/pacs/pacfaq.php.
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