Online College Courses for Credit

Politics and Media 3: Selling the Prez

Politics and Media 3: Selling the Prez

Author: Amee Wittbrodt
  • Understand, analyze, evaluate, and use different types of print, digital, and multimodal media.
  • Critically analyze information found in electronic, print, and mass media and use a variety of these sources.
  • Gain an understanding of media bias and how the news media portrays political candidates.
  • Compare and contrast several magazine covers, paying attention to bias.
  • Evaluate the magazine covers based on a specific set of questions.

This packet is the third in a series about politics and mass media.

It explores media bias and how the news media portrays political candidates.

See More
Fast, Free College Credit

Developing Effective Teams

Let's Ride
*No strings attached. This college course is 100% free and is worth 1 semester credit.

46 Sophia partners guarantee credit transfer.

299 Institutions have accepted or given pre-approval for credit transfer.

* The American Council on Education's College Credit Recommendation Service (ACE Credit®) has evaluated and recommended college credit for 33 of Sophia’s online courses. Many different colleges and universities consider ACE CREDIT recommendations in determining the applicability to their course and degree programs.


Background Information


News, Media and Truth

Discussion Questions

  1. T/F? Both Barrack Obama and John McCain had sites on MySpace and Facebook during the campaign.
  2. T/F? People in Minnesota and Florida see the same political TV advertisements.
  3. In 1968, what did Humphrey and Nixon do that nobody wanted the American public to know about?
  4. According to the research firm PQ Media, how much money will will presidential candidates spend on advertising this year?
  5. Among younger voters, what form of media is replacing TV as the primary source of information about candidates?
  6. According to the above article, who did the news media favor to win the election?
  7. T/F? Newspapers have the right to endorse a political candidate.
  8. According to the Pew Research Center Poll conducted last October, what percentage of Americans felt that news media favored Obama over McCain?
  9. The election is over and Obama is president. Think back to the months leading up to the election. Do you feel that Obama and McCain received equal coverage by the news media? Should they? Why is this important? Explain.
  10. "The response is to the image, not to the man... It's not what's there that counts, it's what's projected." What is the meaning of this quote? Is it still true today? Do you agree? Explain.

Compare and Contrast Activity

Use one or two adjectives to describe how each candidate looks.

Make at least one observation about the lighting for each image.

Notice the camera angle on both covers.

What might the cover words tell you about each candidate?

What might their nonverbal expressions reveal or mean?

How might they have been photographed differently?


Senator John McCain was on the cover August 2006
Former Sen. John Edwards graced the cover in August 2007 and
Senator Barack Obama graced the cover in June 2008.


Compare and contrast these three images:
pay close attention to expressions, clothes, camera angles, color and more.
What do you see?