Emilio P. Uc-Tun
20 April 2012
Media and How It Affects The Presidency
Media is an important part of our daily lives. One aspect of our lives that media has a major impact on is politics, especially the presidency. The media (TV, newspapers) affects the president from his campaign all the way through his term; the media is vital to helping the president shape his image and communicate with the public, and set agenda. The media is an essential tool in becoming a successful president. When a president interacts with the media he will soon benefit from this interaction, unless the media favors him in a bad light then it usually goes the opposite direction.
In other words, the media and the candidates “need” each other. (Barber 51) They need each other because when the media and candidates work well together they can greatly help each other out; media helps the candidate by giving it the publicity it wants, while the media gets the news coverage they need.
During the campaign process it is vital that candidates have an attitude that is appealing to the public. The campaign period is very short compared to the rest of the candidates “advertising period” and causes a major obstacle for candidates. It becomes difficult to change the attitudes the public may already have on the candidates. This has caused many candidates to announce they are running earlier than in prior years. (Jamieson 218) The form of media that most people use early in campaigns is newspaper. The candidates must make sure that they are coming off as a credible candidate early in the campaign. (Graber 49) An important tool in conducting a good campaign is capitalizing on past experiences. Candidates often mention their prior successes to ensure the public that they are qualified to be president. (Jamieson 218) Candidates try to convey their “message” to many different segments of the news media. Most candidates try to use an idea or achievement and focus their campaign on that single message. This single message is often condensed into a slogan. (Jamieson 217) An example of this is Obama’s slogan, “ Yes We Can”. By creating a slogan the candidates have made it easier for voters to remember one important fact about the candidate. When voters see that slogan in the media then they will be reminded of what particular candidates stand for and can help them decide who to vote for. The media is an excellent way for candidates to campaign and convey ideas to the public. By using media the candidates can make sure all concerned citizens can become familiar with the candidate. The campaign staff works with the media to help the public decide who the best candidate is.
Another important goal of campaigning is to create an image that is appealing to the public. As Jamieson wrote, “Indeed, major campaign goals are creating a positive, electable image of the candidate, ensuring that the image is communicated consistently through out the campaign, and that it is underscored by news coverage.”(229) The President is the easiest branch of government for the media to create and image for. Congress is difficult to personalize due to its number of members, the Supreme Court is “aloof” and the bureaucracy is boring. (Dye 302) The president uses this opportunity to show the media that he is a good candidate for President. The first president to use the media to exhibit his personality to the public was Franklin D. Roosevelt. Roosevelt was notorious for his fireside chats. Roosevelt used these chats to gain support from his program idea. (Dye 300) Today it is common for the president to look to the media as a way to gain support for his ideas and to...