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The media's power to shape the American mind has often been criticized, but it also allows people to give feedback to the government.The United States is far too large a country to operate effectively as a direct democracy.Yet a democracy depends for its very livelihood on meaningful contacts between the people and the government. Although the members of the House of Representatives represent the views of the people, population growth has made it so each member is now responsible for almost 65,000 citizens.
Citizens get the vast majority of their political and governmental information from the media, which includes television, print journalism, radio, and now the Internet.
Here, former Independent Prosecutor Kenneth Starr faces the media upon exiting his office.
play an important role in connecting people to government.
Most of us find out about candidates for office, public officials' activities, and the burning issues of the day through television, newspapers, radio, and the Internet.
One of James Madison's many contributions to The Federalist Papers was an essay that outlined his vision of Congress as a body of chosen individuals that the public could submit their ideas to for debate, refinement, and, ultimately, implementation for the public good., it has so much territory that most Americans live a long way from the White House.
Sure, state and local governments allow many more opportunities to get in touch with government, but in some ways federalism just makes government all the more confusing and unapproachable.
Which challenges are essentially the same, and which are radically new?
American democracy has faced numerous challenges from the 1700s to modern day.
Even with elected representatives in Washington and in state capitals, it is still difficult for modern Americans to participate in their government in meaningful ways.
Democracy still works though, partly because linkage institutions make important connections that allow the government to hear what its people are saying.