How The Electronic Media Influences Politics

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The electronic media has much influence on politics in America. On the TV, radio, internet, and press, politics are presented in many different ways and with many different views. The media can be used to influence the people in both positive and negative ways. This paper will outline these influences and state examples in a variety of different platforms. The media has created an impressive increase in literacy among people about politics and political issues. Whether you are watching a presidential debate or listening to the radio on a story about political issues, you will hear a variety of words and terms that, without these forms of media, would be foreign to us. Since the media is able to cover these issues, they are able to interpret and describe then in ways that make it easy to understand. Thus, political literacy has been greatly increased through the use of media. Since people have a greater knowledge on politics and issues that concern politics, they are able to understand the importance of voting in our country. The media presents this importance of voting mainly though advertisements. Between the presidential election of 1992 and 1996, there was a higher national voting turnout by 9%. This means that the media has positively influenced the voting statistics. One of the negative effects of the medias influence on the people is creating a difficulty to remain nuetral while reporting political news. When an issue is addressed improperly through the media, it creates confusion and an inability to take a certain side on an issue. For instance, if a news reporter were to make negative references on a certain issue, the people watching will be more influenced to take a negative approach to the issue. This can cause much confusion since a different reporter could take a positive approach and turn the peoples decision that way. Yet another negative way that the media has been known to affect the people is by falsely stating the news. It is hard to believe, but in the election of 19??, (i'm sorry, i forgot the names and dates of this election. its the one where Trueman won, but the newspaper says the other guy won. Please forgive me and just do this sentence by yourself) In this case, the press printed a newspaper reporting that Harry Trueman had lost the election, when in fact he had won. This questioned both the integrety of the press and the confidence of its readers. One last negative influence of the media is when the media overplays a certain issue. This can be related to in a very recent event. In the 2000 election between George Bush and Al Gore, a voting mishap put these two on the headlines of every medium of media for weeks. The overkill of having seen this story over and over with little or no developement made the people lose interest. People stopped caring on what was

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