The Role of the Media in Influencing Political Attitudes in a Democracy

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The Role of the Media in Influencing Political Attitudes in a Democracy


The public gets political information on their preferred candidates or parties from different people and through the media. In today’s world, social media has also been one of main platforms that shape the public opinion. However, engaging in discussion with other members has proven more informative and persuasive than other methods including social media. Mass media is critical in forming the opinions of the members, and they use the discussions and insights they gather from the media to generate their own ideas and viewpoints (Zaller, 55). The media has experts’ analyses who give opinions based on facts and experience on the matters facing the political parties or members of a given party. There is also an expert breakdown of the different policies to help the public understand the advantages and disadvantages on a given policy to be implemented by the political parties.

Thesis statement: the media plays a pivotal role in influencing political decisions and attitudes in a democracy by changing people’s opinions and understanding negatively.

This paper looks at the different theoretical arguments and analyzes them with the available evidence to form a conclusive opinion on the media and political influence. There are people who argue that the media influences people’s opinion while making political decisions, whereas others believe that the media plays no role in politics. This paper considers both perspectives from the theoretical point of view and the evidence in support or critical claims of a given argument. This will be done through examining the theories by different theorists and critically examining their viability.

Zaller’s argum...

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...politically unaware and there is no engagement whatsoever. This means that the media influences the people’s decisions negatively since they form the wrong opinions from information that is either manipulated or insubstantial to make conclusive choices.

Works cited

Mutz, Diana C., and Paul S. Martin. 2001. "Facilitating Communication across Lines of Political Difference: The Role of Mass Media." American Political Science Review 95 (1) 97-114.

Prior, Markus. 2005. “News vs. Entertainment: How Increasing Media Choice Widens Gaps in Political Knowledge and Turnout” American Journal of Political Science 49 (3): 577-592.

Putnam, Robert D. 2000. Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community. New York: Simon & Schuster. Chapter 14.

Zaller, John. 1992. The Nature and Origins of Mass Opinion. Cambridge University Press. Chapter 10.
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