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How Media Influences Politics Essay

2227 words - 9 pages

The portrayal of the mass media is seen to neutral and unbiased. Media is an agent of political socialization, which has created an impact on politics. Mass media has operated in a way that can affect politics in America. Today, significant factors contribute to the workers of mass media as their reports can face a high chance of influence to politician. Such influences include big corporations or the government, primarily to manipulate the mass audience for their own advantage. Mass media has a great influence on the public opinion as they can fluctuate what individuals should think, know and feel about politicians. The media supplies the general audience with information that voters can ...view middle of the document...

Therefore, political candidates who have power and control over the media will automatically be given a positive portrayal in their issues presented in the media. Dearing and Everett explain that this process of influence, through competition and negotiation, are the driving force of what is determined to be on the agenda of media (Dearing & Everett, 1996, p. 1). This points that besides the prime factors of the media agenda-setting process, wealth power and control can also influence the viewpoint that the media will show on certain candidates. Maxwell McCombs emphasizes that mass media are the ones who control the media agenda-setting process and stats that anything presented from this is a huge influence that is able to form and create a bias public opinion regarding the issues presented in the media (McCombs, 2003, p. 1). This occurs because mass media is the only gateway that the mass audience has to collect information involving candidates, as there is none or rarely any personal interaction between candidates and the general audience.
Mass media can easily have a direct influence on the opinions and perspective that the general audience distinguishes from any potential candidates. McComb states that Walter Lippman stresses that these influences create what we know and understand of the national world of public affairs, as the world for citizens are “out of reach, out of sigh, and out of mind” (McCombs, 2003, p. 1). Therefore, the priorities of the media become the main concerns of the public from the mediated view of the world. McCombs clarifies that facts focused to be most important on the media is what is most significant to the public mind (McCombs, 2003, p. 2). Furthermore, the views that the media becomes the audiences’ first hand and only perspective they will know and understand. As a result, the agenda-setting process becomes a social problem. Politicians are able to divert media to spread certain information that can come to their advantage or disadvantage to manipulate individuals, also known as the mass audience, to think, know and feel a certain way.
An example of which mass media can be used for is political advantage. Ones who control the media, such as editors, newsroom staff and broadcasters, shape the political reality since they are the ones who broadcast the important issues to the public. This is shown from the amount of information presented in the news story and the issue’s position in the daily media. Forms these positions are presented in include being the lead story of page one, large headlines and opening story on the newscast. Issues presented in the mass news have certain aspects that are emphasized, which creates a difference as how the mass audience look at the given information. McCombs explains that journalist decides what the important issues should be known to the public and who the prominent public figure of the day is, which can influence the outcome of an election (McCombs, 2003). This is...

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