The Media Uses Of Horse Race Journalism In The Media

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Dating back to over 100 years ago, when yellow journalism depicted its news as a sensationalist, crude exaggeration of what was true (that actually helped lead to a war) it can be stated that the media has had a constant theme of using different tactics and biases to influence their readers/viewers. Horse race journalism is no different. It depicts an election as a horse race, where the focus is not on the candidate’s policy but rather on how the candidates oppose each other. Media uses this framework to show that “the race—not the winner—is the story. The candidate’s image, personality, staff relations, and strategy are the main foci of reporting. Furthermore, with the horse-race metaphor, journalists can generate interest among viewers” (Broh,…show more content…
It is even used in other sources of media, such as movies for example. The movie Primary Colors portrayed an election turned horse race when it was noted that the Senator who the protagonist is working for is a caring, charismatic ladies-man, unfaithful to his marriage. The biggest scandal however, belongs to his competitor Picker who was seen as a cookie cutter shoe-in compared to the lecherous Senator. However when Picker’s past as a homosexual cocaine addict was made aware to Stanton’s team, it offered, light of the media, the end of his profitable career so the oppose withdrew from the race to protect his reputation. These types of portrayals of elections is not only limited to presidential races however, it can be done to “smaller” elections such as that of Senators. The headlines that make way to these elections once again focus on the political party of the candidate compared to that of the majority of the state/the people residing in it. It’s more focused on a Republican versus a Democrat and not so much what each candidate stands for. After all, Senators are not very well known, even more so due to the fact that there are numerous Senators in the whole
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