interest groups and the media

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  1. Interest groups attempt to influence politicians and public policy in a variety of ways. Define the term interest group, distinguishing it from a political party, and briefly describe some of the ways interest groups seek influence.
  2. Discuss the differences between economic groups and citizen groups. Which areas does each try to influence, and why? From which sources does each of these groups receive the funds needed to function?
  3. Through inside lobbying, groups seek to gain direct access to officials in order to influence their decisions. Describe key elements and tactics of the process of inside lobbying. Define outside lobbying. Who is involved, and who are the targets? What tactics are used, and what relationship is there with elections?
  4. Political action committees (PACs) are the financial arm of interest groups. Discuss PACs and super PACs. Discuss some of the controversies surrounding PACs.
  5. Define a pluralist approach to group theory and the elite critique.
  6. Summarize the historical development of the news media from the nation’s founding to today. What has been happening to the news audience and the news media in recent years, and how has that affected the information levels of the American public? Why is it important for citizens to be attentive and informed?
  7. Define and explain the media functions of agenda setting, promoting the public good, watchdogs, and corporate revenue generator. Why is the media referred to as the fourth estate, and what are the other three? Explain your answer.
  8. Discuss divided government. Does redistricting have any effect? What is gerrymandering?
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