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The Relationships Between Politicians and Media - Essay Example

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The idea of this research emerged from the author’s interest and fascination in how to characterize the relationships between politicians and media. The political significance of the political goes far beyond such questions as 'who controls the media?' and 'how do people get elected?…
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Download file to see previous pages This research will begin with the statement that empirical research has long confirmed that for most people the mass media are the major sources of information about world events and about political affairs. However, despite television's growing importance as a source of information, regular readers of newspapers continue to attach a great deal of weight to the print medium. Non-readers show a greater dependence on television for political information. Both tables conceal significant variations in responses between readers of 'quality' and 'tabloid' newspapers: the former remain wedded to their preferred medium, using it much more extensively as a means of surveying the world in depth, whilst readers of tabloid newspapers rely more heavily on television and also tend to attach greater credibility to it as a source of news. These tables confirm the centrality of the media for the public. They are the means by which the public acquires information about the world and, more importantly, through which the public derives its knowledge and perceptions of current political and social problems and of the means to their resolution. Traditionally, the study of politics and its relationship to the mass media has focused on institutions and bona fide political actors. Governments, politicians, departments or voting patterns have usually been the political scientists' fodder. When married to an interest in the mass media, the result has been an over-concentration on institutions, structures, and the political élite. élite. While this remains of importance, this sort of approach overlooks the part the mass media play in generating public perceptions of political and social change as well as of policies and decision-making processes. The political significance of the political goes far beyond such questions as 'who controls the media?' and 'how do people get elected?'; even concerns over 'bias' and 'objectivity' are too narrow to take in the full significance of the political Politics and the political infuse all aspects of our lives, our attitudes, and our behaviour. And because the mass media are at the heart of the processes of communication through which 'problems' and their 'resolution' are framed and discussed, they deserve extensive analysis. 5 THE NATURE OF 'MEDIATED' KNOWLEDGE This broad approach to the political significance of the mass media is reflected in many contemporary writings. These emphasize the media's role in providing information-both images and texts-which forms the basis of public perceptions and responses to events. The media provide, in Blumler's words, 'the informational building blocks to structure views of the world… Table 1.3 Regular readers of: Telegraph, Times, Guardian or FT Express or Mail Mirror, Sun, or Star Main source of news % % % television 32 62 65 newspapers 57 28 24 radio 25 14 14 Table 1.4 Regular readers of: Telegraph, Times, Guardian or FT Express or Mail Mirror, Sun or Star Most believable source of news % % % television 30 59 66 newspapers 35 13 11 radio 20 16 13 from which may stem a range of actions'. 6 Although these 'informational building blocks' combine with a multiplicity of political and social factors to direct an individual's action, they determine the limits of our knowledge and of our perceptions of events and ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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