Presidential Elections: Television as the Main Source of News

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Presidential elections have always been a significant part of the “American Dream” - the freedom to vote for the candidates people wish to see as their president. Especially with the development of technology, access to politics has become easily available to all. Television specifically acts as a main source to view presidential elections. Although television has created an outlet for the public to connect with candidates on a personal level, it has also affected public ratings and negatively increased scrutiny of the candidates themselves rather than the important issues. As the evolution of technology has shown, television has become an important aspect of presidential elections by allowing the audience to conveniently watch and connect with the candidates while sitting in their homes. Dr, Stanton argued that as America’s size and population grew exponentially, “…we lost this feeling of direct contact – television has not restored it” (Source A). Before the introduction of TV, the public was only able to distantly connect with the candidates through unreliable radios and local newspapers. Television now “provides a new, direct, and sensitive link between Washington and the people” (Source A). Without television, the audience is unable to assess the candidates emotions, facial reactions, characteristics, ect, all which create a bond between the viewer and the candidate. Television forms a bridge between the candidate and the audience, creating a sense of direct connection between the two. The development of television decreased ratings of both the candidates and the presidential elections because of an increase in commercialism and superficiality. Ratings of the presidential debates have decreased 27.9% from 1960, between Kennedy and Nixon, to1996, between Clinton and Dole (Source D). Americans see the frivolity of the elections how absurd some of the image-centered actions are. Before TV, when there was only the radio as means of hearing...
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