Video Exercises

Watch the videos below and answer the questions that follow.

Jim Lehrer is a journalist and the news anchor for The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer on PBS. In the video below, Lehrer talks to MarketWatch's Jon Friedman about issues of media bias in election and convention coverage.

Jim Lehrer on Election Coverage
The Wall Street Journal Digital Network
Originally aired on July 25, 2008

1a. How does Lehrer characterize the extent of media bias in election coverage? What does Lehrer think contributes to why some candidates get more coverage than others?
Do you believe that the media, in general, is biased in its coverage of liberal or conservative issues? Why or why not?
1c. What is the biggest challenge for—and role of—a journalist, according to Jim Lehrer?

In this next video, Bill Weir reports for ABC news about the effect social media has had on politics in the United States and around the world. He concludes that today “all politics is viral.”

Bill Weir, “Social Networking Is Revolutionizing Politics”
World News Tonight
Originally aired on ABC, July 22, 2010

2. How has social media been used to influence politics? Give at least two examples.

The Colbert Report, hosted by Stephen Colbert, is a parody of personality-driven political opinion shows such as those found on the cable news networks, wherein Colbert hosts the show in character as a right-wing pundit. In this segment, Colbert discusses the release of a book by former White House press secretary Scott McClellan.

“The Word—Media Culpa”
The Colbert Report
Comedy Central
Originally aired on Comedy Central, June 2, 2008

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
The Word - Media Culpa
Colbert Report Full Episodes2010 ElectionFox News

3a. What issues surrounding the media and its practices does Stephen Colbert discuss in the above video?
3b. Do you feel that the media did an adequate job covering the events and decisions leading up to the war in Iraq? Why or why not?

The White House press secretary serves an important role as the primary spokesperson for the presidential administration and is a key point of contact for the press corps and news media regarding the daily activities and interpersonal interactions of the president. In this role, the White House press secretary frequently must balance the need for accurate reporting to the press corps with discretion regarding certain policy decisions or political stances of the administration.

The Onion News Network is a daily Web video broadcast created by the news satire publication The Onion and features video segments that parody 24-hour cable news network programming.

Press Secretary’s "Zumtrel Flooby" Answer May Be Attempt to Evade Question
The Onion News Network
[October 18, 2012]

4. What aspects of a White House press conference are being satirized in the above video? Do you think that this is an effective parody of how a presidential administration provides details to the media and press corps? Why or why not?

Media organizations have increased their use of technology to reach a wider audience and provide more accurate and engaging reporting of the news. The following two videos focus on this recent trend in high-tech media coverage. The first video from CNN profiles their new “hologram technology,” while the second video from The Daily Show with Jon Stewart parodies the recent use of technology by news organizations.

Hologram Technology
Originally aired on November 4, 2008

“Hi-Tech News Coverage”
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
Originally aired on Comedy Central, January 9, 2008

5. Does advanced technology lead to better or more accurate news reporting of American politics? Why or why not? What other examples of new technology have you witnessed while watching news coverage?

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