The changing role of popular media in American life from the 1960s to the 1990s.  Can anyone help me describe this changing role? At least a dozen points would be perfect if that isn't asking...

 

The changing role of popular media in American life from the 1960s to the 1990s.

 

Can anyone help me describe this changing role? At least a dozen points would be perfect if that isn't asking too much. Thank you.

Expert Answers
Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I would pay attention to a few things on the outset.  The definition of "media" has vastly changed from the 1960s to the modern setting.  I would pay attention to what defines "media" in the time span, how the public has changed its perception of what defines it within the time span, and finally, I would discuss how the concept itself has become much more broad within this time frame.  I think that you would have to discuss the emergence and decline of print journalism in such a frame of reference.  In 1972, Woodward and Bernstein helped to bring down a corrupt government as they, journalists of the Washington Post, tried to outdo the New York Times.  People received their news from these outlets.  With the emergence of 24 hour news networks and the internet, this is now obsolete.  Discussion of such trends would be beneficial.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Some points to consider:

  • Media become more hostile to the government after Vietnam and Watergate make them more suspicious of leaders.  In the '60s they let JFK's affairs go unreported.  Can you imagine if that were now??
  • Way more outlets available by the end of the '90s.  In the '70s my grandparents' town used to get five channels on over the air TV.  By the end of the '90s cable and the internet were around.
  • More political polarization in news -- this happened with the rise of Fox News and of cable news channels.  This has helped to drive political polarization in the country as a whole (polarization = more extreme views on both sides, fewer moderate ones in the middle).
  • Loosening morals on TV and in movies reflect and add to changes in American life.