How Media Affects Elections

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  • Topic: Elections, Election, United States presidential primary
  • Pages : 2 (674 words )
  • Download(s) : 451
  • Published : March 7, 2007
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Since 1952, television has played a major role in presidential elections. Television allows candidates to reach a broad number of people, and personalities, to help push along their campaigns. Campaigns help the candidates just as much as the voters. The candidates get to be identified, and known to the voters, and the voters get to hear and see how a specific candidate identifies with their needs and wants. The best way to get this information out there is through the most used form of media, television. "One of the great contributions expected of television lay in its presumed capacity to inform and stimulate the political interests of the American electorate." (Campbell). The general public also has the opportunity to be more informed about the quality of the job performance of the candidates already in office and what is going on in the world around them. Debates are regularly viewed by millions of Americans along with advertisements. More people have a tendency to vote because they feel more informed about the people they are voting for. Several more reasons account for the preeminence of television advertising in politics. First, television spots and their content are under the direct control of the candidate and his/her campaign. Second, the spots can reach a much wider audience than other standard forms of electoral communication. Third, the spots, because they occur in the middle of other programming fare, have been shown to overcome partisan selectivity (e.g., the spots are generally seen by all voters, not just those whose political party is the same as that of the candidate). Finally, research has shown that voters actually learn more (particularly about issues) from political spots than they do from television news or television debates. The use of television advertising in political campaigns has often been criticized for "lowering the level" of political discourse. Observers bemoan that television fosters drama and visual imagery, leading to a...
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