Maya C. Christie
Thursday, March 08, 2012
COM 495/POL 429
Politics, Media, and the Presidential Election
Media bias is alive and well in politics. It is a “term used to describe prejudice in news and media reports, in which it is perceived as an imbalance or unfair presentation of facts or selective reporting of which events or facts are reported.” Media bias is present in every aspect of American politics, and plays a significant role in influencing voters’ opinions and beliefs. The media frames the information that voters utilize within their decision making process. As a result, many have voiced their concern that the media may be conventionally distorting political opinion. Media bias has the ability to make voters bias, and hence, bias policy decisions. It is a vicious cycle that can either make or break a candidate’s campaign, as well as their chances of obtaining an office seat. It can make a villain out of a candidate or make him/her a hero. The media affects the publics’ interest in politics by presenting the people with what they want to see and hear. Within a campaign, the media will focus their attention on the issues that they consider to be the most important. The other issues will be ignored, or placed on the back burner. This goes for candidate coverage as well. The media will focus on the candidates they consider most important, and the others will be ignored.
One of the most prominent examples of media bias in politics dates back to
the first televised Presidential debate between Kennedy and Nixon in 1960. It showed just how biased the media was toward public figures that oozed charisma and harbored a strong emotional presence. It tarnished the campaigns of those whose...