Changes in Political Culture Between 2004 and 2008

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After reading all of the lecture notes and spending quite some time browsing the internet, I found three things that dramatically changed between the 2004 and 2008 Presidential elections. Media influence, technology and the change in demographics played major roles in the 2008 elections. Media influence was the number one change between 2004 and 2008. Although the media played a big part of the 2004 elections, that election does not compare to the media frenzy of 2008. In 2008, television became the primary medium for conveying the campaign to Americans. The television channels devoted hours a day to observing every small item, almost all of it live. Little was said back and forth between the campaigns that were not reported quickly by a media outlet. Across the medium, 67% of the time on cable came from talk format or live standup. Only 23% came from reported pieces in which correspondents have control of the message. (2) What press stories made a difference in 2008? There was more reporting on the background and character of candidates during the primaries, when the process of discovery was new and went on longer. Yet arguably, the two most important stories about Obama came from a church DVD (the sermon by the Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr.) and a tape made by a blogger doubling as a supporter (Mayhill Fowler) ,working for Huffington Post, who recorded Obama’s statement about bitter small-town voters. The reporting on Sarah Palin’s background in Alaska by various news organizations probably represents the most memorable example of first-hand, pro-active reporting into candidate backgrounds during the general election in 2008. (2) These are just a few of the examples of how the media bandwagon was so influential during 2008. It does not matter the party affiliation or beliefs, we all followed a certain media outlet of choice during that time. The second change between 2004 and 2008 was that Americans decided to get out and vote. Mainly due to the media frenzy,...
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