An examination and evaluaiton of the role of mass media in American politics. Topics include: the legal framework which enshrouds freedom of the press, the newsmaking process, sources of potential bias, the development of investigative journalism, corporate ownership of the media, the role of the press in elections, the ipact of mass media on individual behavior and opinion formation, and the politics of entertainment, concluding with an exploration of the process by which the media have become a tool, indeed a weapon, in the contemporary U.S. process. POLSC*110 is recommended. Distribution Requirements: CL, SB. Prerequisites: POLSC*110 is recommended.