Journal Articles

Access to full-text SAGE journal articles that have been carefully selected to support and expand on the concepts presented in each chapter. Journal articles can act as an ideal resource to help support your assignments and studies.

Click on the following links, which will open in a new window.

Article 1: Ridout, Travis N. and Glen R. Smith. 2008. “Free Advertising: How the Media Amplify Campaign Messages.” Political Research Quarterly. 61(4): 598-608.

Abstract: The impact of political ads paid for by candidates is amplified because of the free media coverage they receive. Yet how frequently does that occur? And are certain types of ads more likely to be covered? To answer these questions, we performed a content analysis of news coverage in ten U.S. Senate campaigns in 2004. We find that ad amplification is quite common and that negative and comparative ads are much more likely to receive media attention than positive ads. This has implications for how scholars measure ad exposure and for understanding why Americans dislike negative advertising.

  1. How do politicians receive “free advertising” according to the authors? How does this connect to what you have learned so far about the news media?
  2. How does the media’s tendency to look at politics as a “spectator sport” contribute to this?
  3. What types of ads are more likely to be covered by the media? What effect might this have on viewers, according to the authors? Which media influence model can you apply to this phenomenon?


Article 2: Matsaganis, Matthew and J. Gregory Payne. 2005. “Agenda Setting in a Culture of Fear: The Lasting Effects of September 11 on American Politics and Journalism.” American Behavioral Scientist. 49(3): 379-392.

Abstract: Agenda setting has been developed, expanded, and employed in numerous studies as an analytical tool that affords an understanding of not only how our political reality is formulated but also how “realities” can be manufactured. However, as the authors argue, by grafting agenda setting and media systems dependency theory—two different traditions in mass communication theory—it is possible to better account for changes in the agenda-setting process because of shifts in the power relationships between all actors involved, especially under conditions of increased threat; conditions similar to those the American public has lived in since the September 11 terrorist attacks. Illustrations from Campaign 2004 complement this analysis. The authors suggest that it is critical to understand the dynamics of the making of “mediated realities” so as to alert readers of the importance in furthering critical media literacy skills necessary for the public to distinguish between facades and facts.

  1. How can agenda setting be used to understand media coverage after September 11?
  2. What do the authors mean by a “mediated reality?” In what ways did politicians and news organizations come together to present a certain view of the world?
  3. Why was September 11 such an effective event/time for the administration to practice agenda-setting?


Article 3: Chris, Cynthia. 2013. “Queasy Questions about Media Effects.” Contexts. 12: 60-62.

Abstract: Increasingly violent media shows no signs of driving away audiences. Cynthia Chris explores the possibility of redemptive arcs as ripped-from-the-headlines stories play out on TV, but with happy endings, and, in the end, she still reaches for the remote.

  1. How has the scholarly perspective on media effects shifted over the past few decades?
  2. Why is it still so difficult to determine how audiences are exactly affected by media exposure?
  3. What are the different potential reactions different audience members could have to violence in media? When is it suggested that violence in a television narrative could be positive for some people?
  4. Which media effects models from Ch. 7 are evident in this article and how are they used?