After reading Smith, I began to wonder about the connection that the "everyday", "average" American citizen has with power in Washington. Whether this power pertains to influence, authority, or a multitude of other potential definitions does not particularly. More, it is overall connection of American citizens with the common definition of power that I am most influenced in. These connections to power in Washington, more often than not, are not personal. Americans are largely connected to Washington through the media.
In the era of President Harry S. Truman, reporters numbered, as Smith describes, in the range of 25. Now, the White House Press Office counts passes for over 1,700 people, and this number is most assuredly growing rapidly. Even ten years ago, the ability to rapidly connect with news was not imaginable for the everyday public. Now, connecting with the District of Columbia includes everyday processes, such as the ability to check breaking news through a BlackBerry Smartphone or browse the Internet on an Apple IPad in the back of a taxicab. The resulting change has connected Americans in newfound ways not only to their government but also news as a whole.
While overall this change is a positive one, largely because of increased communication, awareness, and knowledge, there are several drawbacks. The primary one being that this advanced knowledge gives little time for DC to respond, and thus leaders are guided by largely different and changing regulations since the large important in modern media.
I hope to discuss this further as a class tomorrow.
All the best,