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Word Count: 1,702
The mass media possesses a great deal of influence in society and politics in the United States Newspapers radio magazines and television are able to use their own judgment when reporting current events The power of the mass media is an asset to the government in some instances and a stumbling block in others Recent technology and regulations given to the mass media have improved the means by which the public can get information The final say in what goes into a story however belongs to the reporter alone His opinions and biases are often a main part of the news the public receives The mass media is the means by which the citizens of the United States are informed of current events in politics This gives the media huge amounts of power and control Supreme Court Justice Lewis F Powell stated in 1974 An informed public depends upon accurate and effective reporting by the news media No individual can obtain for himself the information needed for the intelligent discharge of his political responsibilities Powell is saying that it is the medias responsibility to inform the citizens of the news because people cannot get this information by themselves and in order for the people to fulfill their responsibilities as citizens such as voting they need to be informed Lewis Powell goes on to say For most citizens the prospect of personal familiarity with newsworthy events is hopelessly unrealistic In seeking out the news the press therefore acts as an agent of the public at large It is the means by which people receive that free flow of information and ideas essential to intelligent self government No citizen is able to obtain all of the newsworthy information they need alone The press provides the people with the information
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