Home > B1 > Media’s Influence in Politics

Media’s Influence in Politics

Throughout this course and specifically the third trimester I have encountered several interesting topics that surround certain areas and aspects of our government. The main topic of my interest was how campaign commercials, or just the media in general, could have such a large influence on elections. It’s an incredible thought that a short 30 second video can have so much impact on the viewers and could sway their votes on a massive scale. The offensive, defensive, or just neutral ads share the common desire to gain support for the candidate.

Not only are commercials used, but perhaps small articles in newspapers or magazines, flyers, brochures, posters, and billboards, can sway the way a person may think of a candidate. The media’s influence in politics is something that has greatly interested me. I believe that in a way it’s a good idea to get the word out about a candidate and where they stand on issues through advertisements and other forms of media, but I believe that this has also caused candidates to stray from the issues and only concentrate on gaining support or taking it from someone else.

Campaign ads focus on television viewers and also people surfing the internet watching videos. Campaigns buy time on channels, choosing the channels where they know they can obtain many supporters, and also on the web, such as Youtube.com where at times you are forced to sit through an ad to view the video you are really interested in. Those few seconds spent on that channel or waiting for your video to stream can have an impact on a large percentage of the population.

The class day that was spent analyzing some past presidential campaign ads show the requirements for a “good” ad and a “bad” one that won’t cause much change of people’s opinions. People are quick to jump to conclusions when they view and ad, and it is evident how the ad wants to change a person at times. An ad that just simple gives information of candidate and portrays them as a bad choice may change a viewer’s opinion about the candidate even though no textual evidence is provided, over exaggerations are said, or the ad simply tells you that you should not vote for a candidate. If people really payed attention to ads they would be able to not only determine whether or not the information presented to them is accurate and indeed factual, but could come to the conclusion that the one being attacked may be in fact a better candidate. In my opinion when a certain candidate is attacked, i feel sympathy for them and feel that perhaps, if another candidate has to attack them, that the victim of the ad may in fact be a better choice and the attacker seems desperate.

Having learned about campaign commercials and how they want to sway the opinions of viewers has given me a different way to approach the media when it comes to politics. I have become cautious on my approach on the ads I may see while watching television, flipping through magazines or streaming videos.

In the following ad the candidate simply states what he has done and what he could do. He does not attack the other candidates and presents the facts with sources.

Accomplishment

If most ads were like the one above, it would be nicer and the media’s influence would not be as great. Reporting the facts and promoting the candidate still sways opinion.

The next ad is one that provides not evidence and is made to be an attack ad.

Wolverine

This shows how media may try to change opinion and may easily succeed in it.

Media influences us directly or subconsciously, but it never stops sway people’s opinions one way or another. An “ideal” ad of any kind for a political issue should be neutral. It should show both negative and positive characteristics of candidates, show now direct preference for one or another. Promotion of a candidate should not be filtered by the “most” positive aspects of their career but should include a few negatives to balance things out. the restrictions or changes that “should” be done to the media would limit freedom of speech so they would not be able to be pass.

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  1. May 2, 2012 at 9:45 am

    Daniel, I truly think that this blog post is fabulous. The content is clear, personal and insightful. I suggest that you make your blog a little more visually appealing. I have read it thoroughly, and the content is fabulous. However, some people may not read your insight due to inability to focus through your dense paragraphs.

  2. May 2, 2012 at 9:49 am

    Nice, if you could just move the picture to the top that would help a lot. Other than that, I find your post interesting.

  3. brookebgov
    May 2, 2012 at 9:53 am

    Hi Daniel, I think your ideas are solid and you offer a good point of view foryour topic of campaign commercials. Perhaps you could break up the monotonous structure of your post and make it easier to read and follow. Also, I would suggest that you should re-read your work and perhaps edit your small grammar, spelling and capitalization errors just to add sophistication to your post.

  4. May 10, 2012 at 7:36 am

    I LOVE this point: “I have become cautious on my approach on the ads I may see…” YES! Now that you are more engaged and informed, you have the tools to be a ‘skeptical consumer’ of political information… and make important decisions for yourself. Awesome – our democracy is safe in the hands of thoughtful young voters like you!!

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