Congressional Hearings Case Study

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A Congressman is influenced to vote a particular way from a variety of sources, including the general public, lobbyists, interest groups, the media, and other politicians. It is hard to say exactly, if it is the news media that has influence on what congressional hearings take place, or is it the other way around, and congressional hearings influence what the media is reporting. Riots, Police, Weapon Control, Child Abuse, Prisons, Illegal Drugs, Organized Crime, Juvenile Crime and Criminal Code all fall under the Law, Crime and Family Issues title. This subject matter was compared between the years of 1946 and 2005, with the percentage of congressional hearings and the percentage of news reports in the New York Times. This study shows similar trends in percentages, but a higher influence of media coverage on the number of congressional hearings.…show more content…
One year there would be a high number of hearings, but the following year would be low. The percentage of news reports followed a very similar pattern, although the difference in percentage was not as dramatic from one year to the next, as the congressional hearings were. One example is between 1975 and 1976. Shortly after the Watergate scandal American citizens learned about the governments’ secret spying activity. The Church Committee discovered abuses by the government, including the NSA’s scanning of over 150,000 American citizens messages each month. In 1975 there were 96 hearings, but in 1976 there were only 52. Similarly, the percentage of news in 1975 was 96, but in 1976 was only 56. It appears that the subject received quite a bit of attention, but then moved on to other topics and

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