MEDIA INFLUENCE ON POLITICAL VIEWS IN THE US
Whether print, broadcast or digital media, they provide vital information on politicians, peoples’ opinions on the government among other political news. There are various forms of media available in the US including newspapers both local and national, broadcast media, newsmagazines and digital sources such as the internet. These news media are very diverse and free and this allows both the media houses and the citizens to speak out their minds and comment on what the government may be doing wrong. Television has been the top source of political news for the Americans but recently, the digital media and especially the social media is taking the political arena by storm. Most youths get political news from cell phones and mobile phones. The impact of print media, however, is under threat from other news sources such as broadcast media and online news which are free to access.
Politicians do not use the newspapers very much as compared in the past but rather you will find them being welcomed for talks in newsrooms or they pass their information through the various social media platforms. The reduced number of customers for print media has affected politics in that politicians will rarely use them to pass their information to the audience because their goal is for the information to reach as many people as possible. Compared to the past when media played a major investigating role in politics, a 2012 report during the presidential elections revealed that most reporters were merely projecting the candidates’ claims and ideas instead of analyzing and critiquing them thoroughly making some people turn away from news provided by print media (Towner & Dulio 97).
Although investigative articles like the Washington Post were available in the 2016 presidential elections, the scrutiny by the media on the candidates was very minimal driving many into criticizing the media and also for their uneven coverage of the candidates. Printed and digital media information is also easy to analyze compared to information from radios and television since it is more detailed and complete. Aware of how news is broadcast in the television, politicians will often provide the media with sound bites with the intention of manipulating the news. The bites trend for several days and through this they may be able to pass their information or their plan may backfire. Social media has risen to have a very big impact on the politics of the United States and this can be evidenced by the influence Facebook had on the 2016 presidential elections.
It was third in the news sources ahead of local TV and NBC (Petrova & Sen). Online campaign ads are becoming a common way for people to get political news and views (Ramirez 36). With the rise of the internet, people are also opting to stream news life instead of watching them from the television and this has also influenced politics and forced politicians to also use the internet as a campaign platform. Most of the presidential addresses are also streamed online and most viewers turn to this instead of the television. The increased use of social media has affected the way people receive information and how they pass it to others. This has also had an influence on political activism, campaign organization, and voter mobilization.
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