The media is an important source of information. The media has become very influential in modeling people’s lives through different decades. The society today thrives on the media a reliable source where they get informed. The coming of new media has become more influential in the recent days. Social media has become very influential and has been used by everyone across the board for business and recently politicians have turned to the social media as a way of furthering their agenda. Many of the elite groups of politicians have used the media to reach out and organize their supports. Many people have turned out to be the highest number of group using the social media. It has thus turned to be a very reliable source of information. Though the traditional media has not been neglected, a lot of energy has been turned into the social media. Even the mainstream media have also turned to social media as a way of reaching people in large scale.
Elections are very crucial events and always elicit a lot of debate. In the United States, elections have been stiff with candidates employing every method to win the elections. From 1992 to 2008, there have been a lot of dynamics that has brought into focus the use of the media and other campaign tools to win elections. In 1992, the mainstream media that include the Television, newspapers and the magazines as major sources of campaign. This time there was nothing known about the Internet and was not widely used by different politicians during the campaigns. However, things have changed and the Internet in relation to the social media has become a major media source. Many politicians have turned to the use of social media to reach out to a larger audience. The mainstream has less been used in the recent times. The research seeks to outline the objectives of the research as well as reviewing scholarly literature. The research would use interviews and questionnaires to get the required information on elections through the different generations.
1. This research seeks to find out why the people voted for the people they voted for and the rationale for their choice.
2. The research also seeks to know whether the social media played a major role in the way they voted.
3. The aim would also be to know the kinds of social media each one of them relied on for information.
4. The research also aims at finding out if they interacted with the people they supported on social media.
5. The research would also seek to find out if there was a difference between the traditional media and the new media.
6. Will also aim at seeking information if the new media would be an influence even in the next years to come.
Rationale and significance:
Elections from 1992 to 2008 have undergone through a lot of transformations. The face of campaigns changed over time with the various technological advancements. In the 1992 elections in the United States featured in an era where there was not much of technological advancements and as such reaching people and a varied number of audience could only happen through the mainstream media. Dalto notes that in the 1992 elections, the voters only had to rely on the usual form of media such as magazines, newspapers and television news (Dalto, 1996). There were no other places where people could get information about the elections and their candidates.
The two main candidates in this Clinton and Bush had to rely on these forms of media to reach their audiences. The candidates in a bid to reach their supports used the cable television. The supporters thus used the same media to get to follow their candidates. In this regard the candidates had always to make do with what was available and most essential at that time. Moreover the candidates used the time just before the news to bring advertisements to bring out the information they needed to pass to their supports. Also crucial for the 1992 elections were the talk shows that existed in different United States television and radio. The candidates used the talk shows to reach to their supporters.
The talk shows that came early in the morning and in the night became a major selling point for the candidates. To add onto the sources of information sources that existed at that time, the politicians used commercials to reach onto the people. Commercials were different and varied and it all depended on which one that most appealed to the audience. During this time, there was no significant presence of the social media to influence elections. There were limited media channels that could be used to reach the people. The social media that has influenced many events with respect to elections was a big mess at this time. This only gave an option to use the mainstream media to reach out to the people. The audience had also to rely on the very media for the sake of getting the information they needed to have, a lot of avenues had to be explored to have many people reached. Apart from the mainstream media, there was the use of T-Shirts and caps to relay information.
A lot of branding was also done at that time to appeal to more people. In the 1992 elections, only president Clinton is said to have tried to use the Internet. The Internet did not however play a major role in the elections. The Internet did not get as much attention from different quarters as many people did not think the Internet was as useful in the campaign. The internet was fairly a new phenomenon and as such, Clinton tried to be just but innovative in trying to generate an Internet website for the sake of campaigns. Not many politicians seemed to have used this form of media. The Clinton campaign used websites to show different candidates who were seeking political office at that time.
The photos of the politicians were placed on the web same to their speeches as well as what they stood for. At this time, statistics show that during this time, just about 50 websites existed at that point in time. Even though Clinton used the web as a campaign tool, the missing link was that there was no way the people could engage with the campaign team (Columbus, 2008). The Clinton online campaign only focused on the text but nothing more happened beyond this context. In 1992, Clinton only relied on the traditional communication channels. The use of television was widely used as well as the use of telephones. Mailing system was also used at this time to reach many individuals. The Internet was only used as an information portal for sharing information on various issues. While the use of the Internet was a brilliant idea to be used in an era when the information tool was little known, it only used a one-way communication method. It could have been very effective when it was more interactive to allow the people to give their input into the campaign. In 1996, there was a major shift and this brought a difference in the campaigns. The Internet started to gain more prominence, as there was more enlightenment on the use of the Internet (Swanson, 1996). Many people began to embrace this media channel as a way of having more information disseminated to the people. At this time, it is said that in every five citizens there were more than one person using the Internet. This became a major source of information and became a huge source of news. More people started to be online in 1996.
At this time, the Internet did not employ the interactive method yet again. A big transformation was when the Internet was used as a fundraiser link. The Clinton campaign team is said to have fundraised an amount of $10, 000 through this form of media. The amount was not as one would have expected nevertheless it was a significant contribution to the campaign team. This time in 1996, many politicians began to embrace the use of the Internet. Many politicians started to use small pockets of websites all across America. Though this time people still used the Internet in one way that means there were no interactive sessions. The websites did not use the interactive sessions.
Mainstream media was still largely used at this time and it was not possible to divorce the television, the newspapers and the magazines for the sake of campaigns. When the republican candidate in 1996 brought to the lime his website, the people quickly went online to access the information into the website. The worst happened because the website was jammed thus it crashed. The designers of the website did not take into consideration the traffic and this showed that internet use was not yet given the attention it required in terms of being a source media.
Things began to undergo some transformation. People were beginning to use different sources of media as an alternative to reaching more people. The era of information started to gain more prominence and different campaign tools were beginning to be explored as a way and means of reaching more people. The presidential elections of 2000 brought more changes in the campaigns. This was a big transformation and a break away from the past. The Internet became an incredible source of election news and a source of great information. At this time, more than 40 percent of the people in the United States used the Internet more actively and were most of the time online. Politicians majorly used the Internet as a fundraiser tool.
Many politicians especially those who did not have any financial assistance from the party followers benefitted from the internet source to marshal resources. The Internet became a major feature in organizing and mobilizing voters. Bush was backed by supports from the mainstream party supporters. McCain who was a big contender embraced the Internet as a major campaign tool. The Internet became a reliable source of information and the Republican politician used the Internet as a key information hub and was also used for fundraisers all over. While the Internet gained momentum, the mainstream media became a key source and was still used as a way of reaching a great number of audiences.
Bradley collected a lot of funds through the online mode more than Gore. The gore campaign team did not value the use of the Internet and did not therefore use it as a fundraiser tool. Unlike in 1996 when less than 4% engaged the Internet, it was a different time when well over 50% were online. The Internet has affected the decisions of voters to a large extent (Davies, 1999). The dynamics changed and people no longer relied on the mainstream media for the information they needed for the elections. In this sense, many people went online to get the information they needed. The media became a major player and by this time election officials started using different media facilities for campaigns. There were a lot of transformations and it became very relaxing as many people could be reached outside the mainstream outreach.
Things changed significantly with the coming of social media. 2004 was a period when the social media emerged though not very much employed. For instance there was the coming of Facebook in that year. There were blogs and different social media like MySpace. Many politicians started using the social media as a means to reach out to many people. Fundraising became easier as people used the online system to get volunteers as well as get donations. By this time there were more developed websites developed for the campaigns. There were interactive sessions at this time and the campaign teams were able to reach out to voters and have feedbacks from the campaign fields. Voters also became easier to mobilize and to reach out to.
This became easier to the campaign teams and the elections as a whole. At this time people could get data on the votes through online system. The politicians began to employ new media as a tool to further their agendas. The Internet and the emergence of social became a great source of influence in shaping the elections. The young people at this time used the social media more often (Connery, 2008). Therefore, it was only logical that the social media would be used to reach the young people and other people who had become fond of the Internet. In 2008, the dynamics changed significantly. The social media was a more vibrant media and even surpassed the mainstream media. Even though the television stations and the newspapers were still prominent, it could not be compared to the influential the social media had taken. In the 2008 elections, the campaign teams of both the Democratic Party and the republicans used the media so much. All forms of media were used and the Internet became a buss of activities.
Twitter, Facebook, YouTube as well as videos and mobile use were extensively used (Winograd & Hais, 2008). The supporters were able to get donations directly from the supporters. The candidates created pages on both Facebook and twitter as a way of keeping the supporters abreast with the things that were going. The social media was also used as an interaction media. Candidates also created YouTube Channels where they posted videos on the campaign trails as well as informing the people on different issues. The candidates to reach out to the candidates live also used Google hung out. Many people got clearer information from the social media links (McKinney & Banwart, 2011).
President Obama was very successful in using the Internet, especially in getting donations and giving more appeals to supporters and other people. The Democratic Party had developed a great network of donors online and as such Obama got more campaign resources (Hendricks & Denton, 2010). Much of the funds came from the direct intervention of the online sources. Hillary Clinton did not however use the Internet as much in the fundraiser but was funded from other sources. Ron Paul and president Obama both used the Internet especially the social media to raise support and funds and this is a sure testimony that the social media is a big influence in the day and age (Frazier, 2008).
This research will involve two research methods that include the questionnaires and the use of interviews. This would include drafting questionnaires based on the research problem. The questionnaires will contain questions that are very clear and simple and which will be easier to handle by the people to use them (Khan, 2011). The setting for this research will be done on Broad Street and on the Temple University Campus to look for those people to fill out a questionnaire. Interviews will also be used for this research. The recruitment process for the study will consist of at least a thousand interviews to make the comparison since the original poll for the 1992 Election had 1,149 telephone interviews. I will be giving out surveys to eligible subjects that they would need to fill out on the spot.
There would be no payment required for the study since it would be a quick survey to fill out. This research will not involve all age groups (Polsby, 2012). The purpose of the research is to find out how different generations voted and what influenced them to do so. Those who would be eligible for this process would be those who are 15 years old and above during the 2008 elections and above and must have lived in the United States for the last 15 years. In the original poll back in 1992 done by Election Night Study, It asked “Which one of the following was the most important reason for you in deciding whom you voted for in the presidential election?”
The results showed that 31% said that the candidate stood for important issues. Other choices included they were honest and that they were leaders. I will ask, “What was the biggest reason you supported Obama/McCain to be president”. With these same choices, but I will also ask whether social media has had any sort of influence in their decision. With the information, I will code the survey and break down the groups with the answers. This will be a private survey to be viewed and analyzed only by me. No names will be needed for the study. I will be asking for their age, gender, race and the political party they support along with the actual questions. I will emphasize that this will just be a regular survey with no pressure and with some of the questions and choices; they should feel no pressure at all.
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