The Involvement of Mass Media in Political Campaigns

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There has been much discussion about how mass media presents and can determine the outcome of presidential elections. The media has been accused of focusing on subjects such as the politician's personal life and their characteristics rather than looking at the political issues of the election. The voter's views can also be altered by political advertisements that do not focus on issues. This can cause the voters to believe that certain issues are important when in reality they are trivial concerns. Elections often become popularity contests because of the polling that is done by newspapers and TV news programs prior to the actual voting. Politicians then can have a difficult time guiding voter's opinions on their concerns. Commercial advertisements used in political elections are used to get voters to take the position of a certain politician. The commercials want to apply that one candidate is better than another and it is vital for the viewer to vote or not vote for that candidate. However, sometimes these commercials make false claims and this can make it complicated for voters to choose the Celentano 2

right candidate. For voters, making a wrong decision during an election can sometimes have serious consequences. However, not all advertising has an adverse effect on elections. Some advertisements can become very useful to the voters by telling them about the candidates and informing them about what is at stake during the election (Just, 1990). To many people first impressions and the image of people are very important. The media creates the image of many candidates. The impression a candidate gives can assist voters on forming an opinion about that politician. A study was done on the 1976 Presidential election between Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter. The results of the study showed that voter's original impression of Jimmy Carter helped them decide whom they would be voting for. Howerever, the voter's response to issues played a bigger part for...
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