29 Mar 2022


The Methods the Media Uses to Shape the Electorate

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Does mass media influence voting behaviour? In view of many scholars, it becomes apparent that the media is likely to contribute to particular political outcomes. Notwithstanding this fact, one should understand that a large body of the convincing evidence usually comes from developed countries, which can be characterized by a transparent policy-making activities and established democratic regimes, respectively. The focus here lies in arguing that social media appears to have even more detrimental impact on the way people vote in the developing countries; to be precise, the exposure to predominately one-sided messages broadcasted by mainstream TV channels will most probably lead to exceptionally negative rearrangements in people’s voting decisions. On the whole, one cannot but encounter the fact that mass media obviously shapes the way the population tends to vote. 

Arguably, to understand the role of mass media during elections, it is important to conduct an in-depth survey on political science. A peculiar thing is that the persuasiveness of various types of mass media has been long debated; it is important to indicate that many wildly-acknowledged scholars called into question the potential of various communication channels to affect public opinion in general and voting behaviour in particular. Until 1980s, the ability to influence the society through mass media was not taken seriously, since most of existing evidence made it certain that mass communication could only reflect existing sentiments, rather than cultivate different views within the society. All in all, one has to know that the bulk of 21st century surveys take an opposite stance. To make it clear, it is important to admit that recent studies allude to substantial impact of mass media on the way people tend to vote. Significantly, the impact of different types of media occurs as far from being uniform; however, it becomes certain that media should not be underestimated from the perspective of potential risks it can have on the electorate. Contemplating upon the influence of mass communication channels, one should be conscious that a number of recent studies give evidence to a direct casual relationship between mass media and misconceptions about the real course of events. To be precise, it is important to make mention of widespread tendency to use prepaid political advertising in order to convince the electorate of certain points. 

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The bulk of surveys on substantial role that mass media plays in shaping voting behaviour are grounded on polls conducted across the developed countries; in any way, one can assume that the detrimental effect of media is even more severe within developing societies. Obviously, from newspapers to modern-day social media, incorporating Youtube, Twitter, and Facebook, mass communication channels emerge to serve as epistemological devices that people are tightly bound to. The thing is that many individuals often draw a particular attention to news channels in order to get to know the latest political events. 

One cannot but disagree that mass media was initially designed to play an integral part in an appropriate functioning of democratic societies. Moreover, the principal media’s function consisted in educating the electorate on how to utilize democratic rights. In addition, a particular attention was drawn to providing a platform for the parties to conduct debates. The last but not the least, mass media had to endow people with an opportunity to draw conclusions regarding the efficiency of particular candidates and vote for the preferred ones, respectively. Despite the fact that initial media’s functions could lead to exceptionally positive outcomes, it is possible to state that 21st century communication channels have set entirely new goals to follow. To make everything clear, instead of keeping the society abreast of latest events, making an en emphasis on delivery of predominantly unbiased information, today’s mass media has undergone a dramatic transformational change and currently operates as effective mean to lobby interests of certain groups of people. 

It is absolutely fair to admit that mass media shapes the way the citizenry thinks and behaves. To put it another way, it is important to take into consideration the fact that media actually went beyond the limits of offering the insight on existing conditions within the society; it becomes apparent that apart from promoting the fairness of social processes, communication channels are aimed at shaping the perception of the citizenry. As a result, one cannot but give mass media credit for being extremely powerful tool, which is likely to affect the public. 

Nowadays, media outlets serve as an influential factor contributing people’s reluctance to think critically. One should take into account that the bulk of privately-owned media communication channels are involved in manipulating the public due to being commercially-oriented; on the other hand, it is worth saying that a number of state-owned media communication channels are mostly guided for a strong desire to cultivate engrain certain beliefs within the society. Overall, media occurs as an extremely complex mechanism that can result in unfavourable consequences due to a shift of focus from reflecting an existing reality to shaping the public perception. As a result, it appears to be certain that media should be wholly reconceptualised, since this very measure will most likely enable the public to come to understanding the excessive accent on persuasiveness that media is currently focused on. 

Considering the significance of mass media, it is important to take a notice of that the bulk of the public stick to at least one communication channel in their everyday’s life. Consequently, the media emerges to be an integral part of the 21st century social organization, since its overview of political events rearranged the way members of the public tend to regard certain issues. Significantly, the media should not be associated with fraudulent activities; yet, there is a seemingly direct link between mass media and public’s misconception about election campaigns. One has to understand that media communication channels are often affiliated with some politicians or businessmen who persist in particular opinions; since the media is much related to some parties and oligarchs, it cannot be considered as a reliable source that the society should take seriously. Regardless of this fact, the majority of people are actually prone to believing the lie, not suspecting that the media aims to cheat them. Taking a view of recent surveys on the effect of mass media, it is possible to conclude that an increased focus on public opinion appears to be the most optimal approach to shaping electoral behaviour. The thing is that once addressing some public-related concerns, making an emphasis on the interview of randomly chosen members of the society, there is a high probability that the candidate’s electorate will grow. 

Indisputably, many consider public-centred approach as the marketing ploy. Looking into the entity of U.S. mass media, one should know that its political affiliation is hard to exaggerate; inevitably, almost each TV channel can be characterised by mirroring specific dimensions of policy-making. This very characteristic makes the media extremely personal and biased, respectively. Some historians advance an argument that political bias has been an integral part of U.S. media communication channels since the time immemorial. As for the probable outcome that the hidden relationship between the media and politics is likely to lead to, one should make mention of the misinformation, which can make a vast amount of people more vulnerable to exploitation. Obviously, many are sullied by misconception because communication channels serve as the tool entirely accountable to specific organizations. 

Surely, people mould their awareness of the outside world through mass media; in any way, the problem lies in that public’s sentiments are often deliberately controlled and edited in accordance with the political ideology of certain parties. Of course, one has to be conscious that U.S. society cannot be classified as absolutely unaware of what is actually going on in the United States as well as the outside world; apparently, people’s emotional attachment to media communication channels can be explained by the prevalence of digital culture in the United States. In particular, Americans enjoy browsing in Internet and take an advantage of a number of social networks in order to be well-informed about the current events. One has to clearly understand that the media plays a substantial role in the United States culture. For all that, media bias occurs as a burning issue here and a raft of measures, which would help eradicate the signs of political affiliation, should definitely be taken. Yes, the misinformation that many are sullied by disrupts the ability to adequately perceive current events. Since the media incorporates an unprecedented potential to influence the public’s opinion, there cannot be mutual dependence between communication channels and politics due to the fact that it will undermine the functioning of a just society. 

As it was mentioned before, media has an extremely fundamental influence on the way people tend to think; the focus here lies in claiming that media communication channels involve a hidden potential to manipulate the masses of people. There are numerous media manipulation methods today, and, hence, the problem of biased perception cannot be tolerated in the 21st century society. One has to pay special attention to the fact that media’s negative impact is likely to increase during the elections, since this period has been much associated with the growth of partisan bias. One cannot help but become aware that the purpose of media has to consist in monitoring the government officials, rather than covering election campaigns. Significantly, monitoring communication channels during the elections emerges to be a mandatory measure necessary to promote fairness and transparency within the U.S. society. 

To sum up, mass media can easily create public opinion and encourage people to take some actions, respectively. Undoubtedly, the media serves as a communication channel endowing the citizenry with an opportunity to expand the horizon on the outside world; in addition, media definitely cultivates some beliefs to cause a mind reframing shift. On the whole, it is important to pinpoint that both developed and developing countries are currently passing through the trials of media bias, which affects the social development. As for the United States, one should become aware that its media occurs as a platform to spread political information; and a peculiar thing is that many communication channels actually distort people’s views on reality. In particular, the media shapes the electoral behaviour during elections. Within the U.S. society, different types of mass media mostly shape people’s views, rather than reflect them; therefore, it is high time to reinterpret some deeply-rooted beliefs regarding the key functions of mass media. Obviously, one should vividly see a dire need to contribute to a transformational change in the mechanism of media’s educational and cultural functions. 

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StudyBounty. (2023, September 16). The Methods the Media Uses to Shape the Electorate.


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