In the past, the issue of political freedom of the press has been a contentious matter that perturbed many people. On one side, people praised the press for the country’s success in the political administration while, on the other, the press receives a backlash due to spreading information that can jeopardize the security in the county.
Brader (2006) argue that strict laws and state coercion hobble the media due to improper use of the media. For example, people use the media as proxies in the political rival groups. This process shows divisiveness instead of consensus building and hate speech, rather than upright analysis. These instances prove that media contributes to cynics and decay in the democratic process. Brader (2006) holds that some of the journalists during the Cold War were pivotal to improve media theory in 1960s.The journalist did this to enlighten people on their content to change the perception of people and the world. During this time, the media applied analogue form of broadcast of television and radio before the rapid transformation of media to digital broadcast (Brader, 2006).
The media asserts its role when they engage in investigative reporting that lead to ousting of executives and corrupt administration that pave the way to a transparent and democratic administration. This scenario depicts the effectiveness of the media as watchdog to safeguard the public interest (Dennis & Snyder, 1998). This part works to boost the credibility of the media as it helps in official inquisitive press on state officials. The press ensures its part by building a transparent and accountable culture for the democratically elected officials. The training of journalists helps to arm them with skills and techniques to gather information to restore new democracies.
Democracy demands the citizens to participate actively as they keep the public abreast with information to mobilize them. Many new democracies use the radio due to its inexpensive nature and accessibility in the rural area to develop grassroots election when they air local issues (Dennis & Snyder, 1998). Mostly the radio offers an alternative segment to the official channels because it targets the ethnic and different cultural groups. The internet is an example of new media development that works to provide information across the globe by ensuring interconnectivity at an affordable cost. The media builds peace and good social relations by providing warring communities with a mechanism for mediation and reconciliation. The media gives each warring community a voice to settle differences peaceful. Unbiased reporting by the media ensures each side of the conflict airs its voice to promote reconciliation and restore peace.
The introduction of new media depicted by online content, digitized television, and the use of computers has led to the transformation of the media. The media and politics have close ties. This is because the politicians use the media to get exposure and win elections. Journalists have to cover the leaders since the electorate chooses them. The media plays a crucial role to inform the public on matters of campaigns and election in this age of timeliness and demand for information. As for the American culture, Dennis and Snyder (1998) explain of negative publicity and bias by the media.
Government derives power from the media and vice versa. The media can shape the public opinion regarding a candidate in the election time since it communicates to voters the perceived important issues. The images and communication by the media support create judgment on the public between influential and non-influential issues. Political rallies have the design to depict voter excitement for a candidate. In some instances, it is a staged political rally with illusionary signs of real campaign people. The people that rally behind a campaigning candidate are carefully chosen people to appear in photos and news coverage. A candidate can get media coverage by inviting journalist to a news conference having news little information. One attends the conference to get access to the candidate. The media places perceived public needs on the limelight.
Dennis & Snyder (1998) evidence that what the media areas in print or on air affect the respondent of the citizens. The media can help to set the political agenda that seeks to focus on certain issues that impact the public.
The media uses own approach to dictate the concerns of voters in an election and the criteria to use to judge politicians. All the new information that the voters receive comes from news media such tweeter and other social networks to allow interactive discussion. Meyer & Hinchman (2002) find that the media influences the public to limit coverage of certain candidates. The media uses discretion to include the candidate they feel is legitimate with a viable chance of winning the elections. The public should make the choice of sifting candidates to choose a viable candidate; this does not happen in reality due to the effect of media coverage. According to Meyer & Hinchman (2002), media coverage ignores political parties and rather concentrates on individual candidates. This approach has bias since candidates have an information on individual candidates during no information on the political organization. While the media cannot directly dictate how voters think, it contributes immensely in what they think about as they prepare to vote. The media uses an indirect approach to highlight the agenda in the political discussions to influence the electoral choice.
The book, Amusing Ourselves to Death detail Americans in the prehistoric eras which were avid readers until the emergence of the telegraph, photography, and the culmination of television with visual images lacking contextual matter. Postman (1985) contends that varied use of words act as a metaphor since they have disconnection with the plagues of American discourse. Postman (1985) says that one cannot take print media seriously such as the idea of a commercial break during newscast. Television in this decade pursues the entertainment of the audience instead of real life educational content. There seems to be very little educational material for the children when one tunes in the television. According to Postman, it is absurd to rely on the appearance of the viewer so as to ensure the truth in the message. Nixon pervasive dishonor is due to own dishonesty, not on the televised images.
According to Postman (1985), television is a visual art with disjointed images with no argument. Postman (1985) explains that some newscasters are fired due to the notion that appearance hampers appearance. In this decade of show business, the appearance of a person affects the veracity of the news. The candidates who run for an office does not appeal due to their reasoning but because they possess a nice appearance while they mention very little factual data. Postman (1985) explains that successful democracy should be a rational endeavor while the current medium works to destroy the rationalism and replaces it with entertainment. The author of this book mentions the dangers of the television in this society since it reveals harsh and baseless propaganda. There seems to be a huge contrast between the media in the 1950s and the media in this decade. The media of the yester years had intellectualism to evoke emotions and solve problems.
Dennis & Snyder (1998) argues that the media perpetuates biases to affect the voter’s views. In some instances, the media takes a stand on some issues to suggest media bias. The media perpetuates bias as witnessed in the Clinton and Lewinsky scandal. The press hounds and pounds the two in an unethical way. The press misquoted Al Gore when he mentioned that he took the initiative to create the internet. The media exaggerated the problem, when it cites that Al Gore created the internet. The public demands the press to question the politicians concerning different issues while, in some cases, the media is prone to inaccuracy and bias news. The media uses own agenda to pursue certain goals they do not rely on a national guiding principle. Currently, the media seems to be more pervasive than it was a few decades ago. Meyer & Hinchman (2002) says that there was a rapid spread of the usage of television and the internet in America.
The objective of representative democracy depends on its ability to hold officials accountable. Polls identify the concerns of voters that candidates must support. American politics uses poll and the media for the candidates to articulate their issues as they campaign. Brader (2006) says that American political system is a democratic forum for the politicians to manipulate the decision making of the voters.
Brader (2006) finds that political campaigns in America demand colossal amounts to sway an election. Money has been and continues to be pivotal in ascertaining the results of the election. The laws as well as the following amendment govern the subject of money during a political campaign process. The Glass-Steagal Act that has recently undergone an amendment indicates the amounts of money paid to the Democrats and Republican political organizations. Trent & Friedenberg (2007) says that the American campaigning process had an impact in the recent global financial crisis. This lead to the following amendments to regulate finance and the money spent during the campaigns. American culture pursues the campaigning of the political elite who are influential and wealthy. This strategy causes other social classes to negate politics. The political elites pump much money in the political campaign to ensure a winning strategy.
The press has the capacity of influencing the voters by telling them the vital issues during an election. The media has been unsuccessful in shaping the opinion of the voters. The media influences the state by bringing into the spotlight issues, not in the political agenda. The media strongly affects politics, campaign, and the elections in America. The government uses the media as a political instrument to further the political view of the politicians. A candidate in this decade can benefit from news media such as the social media to reach out to the potential voters. Television has led to the decline of political parties and the subsequent rise of independent voters.
Brader, T. (2006). Campaigning for hearts and minds: How emotional appeals in political ads work. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Dennis, E. E., & Snyder, R. W. (1998). Media & democracy. New Brunswick, N.J: Transaction Publishers.
Meyer, T., & Hinchman, L. P. (2002). Media democracy: How the media colonize politics. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press.
Postman, N. (1985). Amusing ourselves to death: Public discourse in the age of. New York, NY: Penguin Books.
Trent, J. S., & Friedenberg, R. V. (2007). Political campaign communication: Principles and practices. Princeton, N.J.