The Influence of Mass Media on the Way Political Campaigns are Run

4016 Words17 Pages
The Influence of Mass Media on the Way Political Campaigns are Run On the Monday when the United States Supreme Court issued its ruling on whether the deadline for certifying votes could be extended in Florida, there was an unsettling sight on TV. News correspondents came flying out of the court and stood, out of breath, before the cameras. Without having read the six-page ruling, reporters began to talk to millions of people about what the court had done. Some reporters got it flat wrong, saying the high court's ruling was in favor of George W. Bush and a defeat for Al Gore. News wire services and several Web sites also incorrectly summarized the court's action. It was only later that the news media corrected itself by reporting that the court had simply sent the case back to the Florida Supreme Court and requested some clarification. Walter Cronkite, the living legend of TV news, has criticized his profession for having too much of an emphasis on getting the news out fast. And the Society of Professional Journalists has criticized the media in the aftermath of these events for failing to act independently in their reporting on the election...so what is the real role of the media in political campaigns? Does it report or influence? INTRODUCTION One of the most important aspects of political elections is its media presentation. This is especially enhanced in the United States where the majority of the people are media thirsty. The important factor that plays on the electoral process is the ability to promote and set the agenda for the candidate. This comes from the outcome they want from their campaigns. Most candidates believe that their policy to promote their agenda at the beginning of the year is never effective because people eventually get tired of watching their faces and their biographies on the media channels and other mass media distribution. Hence, it acts negatively on the psychology of the people. Therefore it is imperative that media must be used in a very contingent manner. Secondly, the image of the candidate presented in mass media is paid therefore they need to be effective. Candidates depend on the office of the campaigner to do this. The media for example gives the power to the candidate to create policy views in a realistic manner that is meant to attract the attention of the viewer. The imagery, the impression and the psycho... ... middle of paper ... ... influence people to believe that the candidates are true to their campaigning. Even if they were losing against the main opponent, they are still willing to fight till the last moment because what they believe is concrete. This creates a ripple effect on the voters, thereby compelling them to make decisions for the candidate. Those who drop out earlier on do not get the benefit of last minute decision-makers. References 1. John Nichols, STAVE OFF THE PREDICTED LOW: VOTE TODAY. , Capital Times (Madison, WI), 02-16-1999, pp 8A. 2. Lawrence, David. America: The Politics of Diversity. United States: Wadsworth Publishing Company, 1999. 3. Masterson, Karen. “Campaign 2000: Businesses Feel Strains of Political ‘Shakedown’.” The Houston Chronicles. October 19, 2000, Star Edition. 4. The Case Program, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University 1996 5. TOM FITZGERALD, AIR WARS IN NEW HAMPSHIRE. , The Record (Bergen County, NJ), 02-16-1996, pp a14. 6. BERTIL HANSON, 'Fixing' Campaign Spending. Vol. 15, The World & I, 03-01-2000, pp 32. 7. Julia Kindl, Agenda-Setting Function, Last modified: 3/15/00 http://oak.cats.ohiou.edu
Open Document