Define mass communication and mass media
Mass media performs several political functions. State and discuss these functions. Discuss how well media (each form) performs these functions by analyzing circulation, timeliness, content, and influence. Discuss how well the media covers the branches of government. Discuss the regulations which have been placed on mass media. Generally, the mass media can be said to have the power to manipulate the political opinions of society. Because different television channels and newspapers find that they are competing for a limited number of viewers and readers, there is the tendency to make the news more attractive by treating it as entertainment rather than as a serious business. There is some speculation that the media does not cover the branches of the government in a fair or balanced manner.
The legislature, which comprises of the elected members of the government receives more attention as compared to the judiciary. In the United States, for example, both the House of Representatives and the senate have recording studios, which they use to compose and pass information through radio and television for the public. This statement can be viewed to be true. Television, together with other media platforms has been crucial in ensuring that the modern-day society is informed and updated. However, the nature of the information that the general public is exposed to depends on the opinions of the management of television stations. For instance, television news in most countries are usually more inclined towards exposing the failures of the government, rather than the achievements.
This creates an opinion on most of the people that governments are underperforming. Additionally, the media is the main platform for interest groups to push their agendas, and the United States enjoys a rather established media. Interest groups are very important in society. The primary goal of interest groups is advocacy and therefore they act as representatives of the general public. Most of the interest groups are guided by largely popular ideas or agendas. Therefore, they act as a channel through which citizens can air their opinions to influence policy and the policymaking process. Main strategies include endorsing candidates and paying candidates with money. Tocqueville and Madison had different views on interest groups. Madison’s opinion was more negative as compared to Tocqueville’s.
He argues that self-interest groups are based more on self-interest, as this is the nature of man. He explained his views in an economic dimension, quoting that members of the society who have, and who do not have property are bound to form distinct interests. Discuss the ways in which political parties contribute to a democratic government through the functions they perform. In democracies around the world, multi-party systems are far more common than the two-party system in America. Discuss the types of third parties in the United States. What role do they play? Why have third parties had such a difficult time succeeding in America? What structural changes would be necessary to create a multi-party system? Would we be better or worse off if we adopted a multi-party system and why? A political party can be defined as a political organization that generally subscribes to a certain common political ideology, and seeks to be elected in representative positions in the government.
Political parties are one of the main aspects of a democratic society. Enduring minor parties are parties that have been in existence for a long period of time and resemble major parties. They run candidates in major positions but differ from major parties because they have been less successful in winning elections. An example is the libertarian party which has been in existence since 1971. This party is unsuccessful in comparison to the two major parties due to lack of adequate financial resources and a strong organizational foundation to run effective campaigns. Single issue parties, on the other hand, are minor parties that usually exist for the purpose of promoting a particular policy or agenda. This is because this system only allows two parties to have a meaningful impact on elections.
With a change in the electoral system, other parties would stand a chance. The United States should also adopt a more competitive elective system instead of the largely pro-foma system of that exists today. Modernizing the entire system of election is important in removing barriers of participation and increasing the confidence of system accountability. Today’s American citizens have limited choices at the ballot box, which is part of the reason of low voter turnout, and lack of participation that could have led to the emergence of a more competitive multi-party system. A good example would be taking part in the voting process. Illegal participation means taking part in activities that are not in accordance with the law during elections. This may include bribing voters and staging illegal demonstrations and protests.
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