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Mass media's influence on presidental elections - Research Paper Example

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Presidential Elections Ever since the advent of newspaper as the first form of mass media it has been influencing the political arena. After films television was invented which J. Edgar Hoover claimed was one of the most influencing forms of communication ever…
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Mass medias influence on presidental elections
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Download file to see previous pages During the first debate Nixon was not well prepared and had little make up while his rival Kennedy was well dressed and prepared for the interview. During the debate there were huge signs of nervousness and panic on Nixon’s face which led the people to believe that Nixon was not ready to lead the nation while people who were listening to the match on the radio believed that Nixon had won, as they could not see the face of any of the candidates. This was the first time that TV was used as a political tool by political candidates. Media has had tremendous effect on presidential elections but their way of influencing is not without controversy. Media will sometimes provide stories dealing with the personal lives of presidential candidates which is very harmful to the candidate and not useful even to the undecided voter. Influencing these undecided voters has a huge impact on American politics. America basically has two big news channels that are very important to the American public; one is Fox news and the other is CNN. Both the channels have huge impact regarding the painting of the picture of the presidential candidate. Regarding the impact of Fox news on American public, Stefano Della Vigna and Ethan Kaplan have conducted a study on the ultraconservative Rupert Murdoch’s channel. Fox was launched in 1996 and by 2000 it was available in more than 20% of American households. They conducted a study in which they compared the change in republican vote bank between 1996 and 2000, and they came to the conclusion that Fox news had increased the vote bank of Republican Party in the areas which received Fox news by 0.5% or 200,000 votes; this number was enough to change the result of 2000 presidential elections. Fox news is also known for its right wing and Christian agenda which appealed to the most of the voters who had access to it. (Does Fox News Change Votes?) On the other hand, CNN is a relatively liberal news channel with agenda that is mostly neither left wing nor right wing but more to the center in the political arena although it has been claimed that it has favored Democratic Party most of the times. During the elections of 2008, in which Barack Obama became victorious, it was clear that CNN favored a democratic candidate while Fox preferred Republican, and most important of them, all Fox was not biased against Sarah Palin, the governor of Alaska who was the running mate of John McCain, while CNN did everything in its power to portray Sarah Palin in a way that can only be described as negative because of her affiliation with causes that can be classified as far-right. Talk Show hosts who are normally seen as a form entertainment by the Americans also influenced voters to an unimaginable degree. A prime example of this was Barack Obama’s fundraiser hosted by Oprah Winfrey which gathered a total of $3 million for the future president. (Ingraham 71) Between 1996 and 2000, before the election during which Clinton was facing the Lewinsky Trial, any news meant bad news for Clinton and the Democrats and their prospects of winning the election of 2000 which they lost, (Alterman 186). After 2005 any ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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