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Memo - Essay Example

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In this week’s paper, ‘Television News and Citizens’ Explanation of National Affairs’, there has been much talk about how the media influences individuals. According to Iyengar, framing in news presentations will have an impact on an individual’s expression of a…
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In this week’s paper, ‘Television News and Citizens’ Explanation of National Affairs’, there has been much talk about how the media influences individuals. According to Iyengar, framing in news presentations will have an impact on an individual’s expression of a political issue. In his work, he comes up with a definition of the term framing in which he describes it as the alterations in judgment resulting from minute changes in the original definition of judgment or choice problems. As a part of the study, an experiment was conducted in which the participants watched a 20 minute videotape that showed seven new stories from the past six months. Among the seven stories, the fourth story was subjected to some element of distortion. The key topics under study included: poverty, unemployment, and terrorism. Four conditions under these topics were subject to manipulation. These conditions could either be systemic whereby the government takes full responsibility or they could be dispositional where the individual takes full responsibility. The explanations could either be systemic or dispositional depending on the condition. For instance, when the topic covered poverty, the participants were shown a clip of homeless persons rather than the one that one that discussed the rate of unemployment, this rendered the explanation more dispositional than systemic. Moreover, it was observed that when the explanations were more systemic, President Reagan’s approval rating was lower since any blame to the government was linked to him even though he might not have had direct influence over the matter. This paper shows how easily our views and opinions on certain topics can be influenced by the way they are presented. As a result of this, human beings tend to make casual relationships even when there are no links between them. The reason for the use of this technique is because it’s an easy technique to arrive at hasty conclusions.
The paper, “How Large and Long-lasting Are the Persuasive Effects of Televised Campaign Ads? Results from a Randomized Field Experiment”, examines paid political advertising. In this paper, 1000 voters were interviewed with the sole purpose of finding out how effective campaign advertisements are. The experiment was conducted during the reelection campaign of Texas governor Rick Perry. Based on the research above, this paper concludes that there is a strong correlation between television ads and a voter’s decision though it may be short-lived.
Kollman’s book portrays the media outlets as biased and therefore their viewers form biased opinions. The biggest question that arises as a result of gross misconduct, are the media to blame? They are not to blame entirely for the misconduct because according to Kollman, they are merely presenting the opinions their viewers are interested in. For example, democrats would prefer watching channels that defend the democratic policy to those that are on the contrary. Therefore, a remedy for this biasness still remains a big challenge.
From this week’s readings, it’s quite evident that our voting decisions can easily be influenced by what we consume from the media. The question that arises is how can voters build a well informed opinion? Is it by looking at different media sources or will a new form of media will emerge? To ensure that what they cover is well balanced and not biased, are there rules that regulate the content they prepare and pass to the public? Read More
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