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Civic Engagement and Voting: Navigating Political Influence

This guide shares resources and strategies for learning about socio political issues in order to vote or otherwise participate in civic discourse. It also details local resources for getting involved as well at UNLV and local events.

Navigating Political Influence

It is helpful to learn about how those in government are influenced by organizations and businesses as well as what part the media plays in how things get reported. Explore the resources below to learn about media bias, public policy advocacy, and lobbying.

Resources / books / videos

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Media Bias

Media, in its various forms, is a major way that people obtain information about things relating to civic engagement. Media Bias refers to, "the media exhibiting an unjustifiable favoritism as they cover the news. When the media transmit biased news reports, those reports present viewers with an inaccurate, unbalanced, and/or unfair view of the world around them." The resources below examine media bias, what it is, and how it effects reporting.

Levasseur, David G. "Media Bias." In Encyclopedia of Political Communication, edited by Lynda L. Kaid and Christina Holtz-Bacha, 434-440. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc., 2008.

It isn't always easy to tell if the media you are viewing is presenting information in a truthful or unbiased way. Use the resources below to fact check news sources.

  • Mediabiasfactcheck- This website allows you to check the bias of media sources.
  • This website displays the day's top news stories from the Left, Center, and Right of the political spectrum side by side.

You can also learn more about media bias and how to detect it by reading more about them from these resources!

Public Policy Advocacy Organizations

Public Advocacy organizations offer their own research and policy analysis to advocate for positions held by their creators and supporters. The organizations below are focused on groups that advocate for issues that relate to Nevada.

Brookings Mountain West- Brookings Mountain West, in collaboration with UNLV faculty, research consultations, and Brookings Institution fellows, issues a variety of print and electronic publications that track and evaluate economic indicators in the Intermountain West.

Pew Charitable Trusts- The Pew Charitable Trust is an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to innovation. Pew is a global research and public policy organization dedicated to serving the public.

Astroturfing- Discussion of advocacy organizations created by corporate or other interests groups to mislead voters.

Votesmart- List of Nevada special interests groups. Nevada, 2020- The nonpartisan, nonprofit National Institute on Money in Politics (NIMP) promotes an accountable democracy by compiling comprehensive campaign-donor, lobbyist, and other information from government disclosure agencies nationwide and making it freely available at Nevada, Top Contributors, 2020 Cycle- Nonpartisan, independent and nonprofit, the Center for Responsive Politics is the nation's premier research group tracking money in U.S. politics and its effect on elections and public policy.


Lobbying is an attempt to influence the actions, policies, or decisions of officials, most often these officials will be legislators or members of regulatory agencies. Browse the resources below to learn more about lobbying.

Lobbying in Nevada- This website, from the Nevada Legislature, provides information about lobbying in Nevada, lists of current and past lobbyists, and reports on lobbying activities.

Ballotpedia Nevada Lobbying guidelines- Ballotpedia outlines Nevada's lobbying laws.

Influence and Lobbying- this webpage gives information on various types of lobbying and interests groups.

Day in the Life of a Lobbyist- This article gives an overview of what lobbyists do.

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