Mass Media Coverage of Presidential Election

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Mass media coverage of the U.S. presidential election involves two key elements- news reporting and paid advertising. Combined they make the media an important and influential factor in the election process. The media depends upon the campaigns for both news and revenues. The candidates then rely upon the media to get in touch with the largest number of voters possible. The Media has a “ very powerful and justifiable role”
(Fullerton-1) to play in presidential elections and can actually dictate a campaign agenda. “It is the media’s job to sort of be the watchdog
(Fullerton-1).” Their job is basically to ferret out the truth and sniff out the falsehoods. To view the media as one large entity is misleading. It’s actually a huge community that includes mainstream media which is the major newspapers and major television networks. Then there is the alternative media, talk radio and tabloid shows which play up the most sensational in politics
The majority of Americans get their political information from the media, the most of which comes from television. Campaign events are covered on the nightly news, and the candidates themselves appear on news interview programs as well as daytime talk shows. At the state and local level of campaigns, candidates usually provide time for interviews with area journalists and the coverage is usually very positive towards their respective campaign. The media itself, however, “tends to accentuate on the negative aspects of a political campaign, to hit hardest at those who are in power or running ahead, and to emphasize scandal.” (Gorin-1). The candidates counter this, and attempt to use the media to their advantage by carefully staging media events. “These usually take place at national monuments or flag factories with balloons and banners in the background to set a real upbeat atmosphere. The speeches made are carefully worded to emphasize making an impact on the news program” (Gorin-1).
There was a dramatic rise of daytime talk shows as a political venue, with independent candidate Ross Perot starting the phenomenon back in 1992 with an appearance on the Larry Ki...

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...s voters, Dautich will identify issues most important to them, assess their attitudes toward candidates, assess their feelings toward the parties and possible independent movements. Examining these undecided voters is extremely important in light of their potential impact on American politics.
In conclusion, the media’s role in the presidential election process is basically to communicate reasonable information both through reporting and paid advertising. This is crucial to the voters because the majority of them receive their information via the media, so in the overall picture, the media can greatly influence the outcome of an election.Bibliography

1.USIA Worldnet. Robert Fullerton, staff writer. http://www.usis-israel.org11/pubhsh/elections/wimedia.ntm 2.USIA Worldnet. Stuart Gorin, political affairs writer. 3.UConn News Release. Luis Mocete, office of Univ. communications. 4. Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia. Boller, P.E., Jr. Presidential Campaigns
( 1996).

5. Grolier Mulitmedia Encyclopedia. Hess, S., The Presidential Campaign,
3rd ed. (1988).
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