Effects of Media on Elections Essay Example

Impacts of the Media on Politics

The media is essential to democracy, meaning that democratic elections might be difficult without media involvement. In this case, free as well as fair elections not only include the freedom to cast a vote along with knowledge that accompanies it, but also a process that engages voters in public conversations and debates. The media plays a prominent role in ensuring that voters have enough information regarding parties, policies, aspirants, and the entire process of elections. That enables them to make effective choices. Most importantly, the media, through reports, adverts and news plays an important role in enhancing democratic elections as well as ensuring transparency. However, the media has to maintain professionalism, accuracy along with deep impartiality when covering political affairs in order to avoid divisions. If it becomes evident that some media personnel are engaged in ineffective activities, it will negatively influence voters’ decisions during election periods. The research paper aims at analyzing the effects of media on politics, the current state of politics in terms of increasing prices of campaign adverts, and the impact that it has on voters’ number and outcomes.

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The main effect of the media on politics is increased polarization of politics. The media enabled the increase of political activities through the use of media reports (Bryfonski 22). It motivates the political leaders to engage in more political activities because the public can give a direct response through the reports comment. The response of the public to a politician’s quote leads to the intensification of political environment. The flow of politics is enhanced through a channel that the media provides. Media channels give users an opportunity to have a mutual exchange of opinions through political debates in the media. The media reports are mainly addressed in the social media. The social media involved in this case entails sites such as Facebook and Twitter among others. The social media facilitates creation of new political ideas that may be incorporated into the real political arena. Once the ideas are incorporated into the real arena, political polarization is increased through its intensification.

News released through the media also impact politics, acting as a fourth branch of the government. News grants the media great power over the government agencies and branches (Bryfonski 43). In that case, it is trusted by the public. Anything that is transmitted through the media is warmly received by the public. News can be used for influencing the public to take a certain path, even a wrong one. Therefore, the media has power like other sectors of the government. Furthermore, such news can be used by the government to determine public opinion on various issues through the media reports. In this case, the media acts as a link between the public and the government, whereby it can source information for the government from the public and vice versa. Sharing information between the government and the public through the media gives it power to control government affairs. The media, through news, has a mandate to control the government just as the other branches of the government.

With regard to communicating with the public, the media also educates the public on political concepts through campaign adverts. The major area of public awareness is in the field of voting. Media providers are used by electoral commissions in many countries to enlighten the public on the procedures and their rights when it comes to voting. The campaign adverts influence the public to participate directly in political activities through voting. Voting is the political right that a citizen of any country has, and it is the role of the governments of the respective countries to grant this right to every citizen in its territory. Moreover, the media educates the public on the concepts of the political environment (Rolls 22). For instance, in most countries the media, especially electronic media, hosts political debates mainly to educate the public on the good qualities of political participants. The media even has the freedom to call upon the politicians and ask them questions that involve their past deeds and future plans. Through such platforms, the media is able to educate the public on the political aspects.

Furthermore, the news released through media channels also plays the major role in modernization and civilization of the political fields (Bryfonski 77). Politics evolve from the ancient politics to modern politics. Media news is on the frontline to ensure that the transformation is guaranteed with no barriers. Therefore, news acts as an accelerator to modernization of the political arena through reporting on the status of politics in a country. The media has introduced platforms such as debates and political analysis to ensure that the political arena has experienced modernization. For instance, in the debates the media is able to weigh state politics and the direction that it takes. In addition, news exerts pressure in the political arena to ensure that the modernization targets are realized.

Media reports ensure that politics is done in a communicative manner and upholds democracy. Communication in the political arena is granted by democracy (Rolls 64). The media helps in upholding democracy whereby media users are free to give their opinions on various issues, which are later executed as reports. All the types of media are used for this purpose. The electronic media ensures that the democracy granted to the citizens towards giving their political opinions is not denied whatsoever. It exposes democracy discrimination that the political leaders commit. This ensures that the politicians are kept on their toes to prevent any democracy discrimination. Therefore, the media reports help in the realization of politically democratic state.

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The media reports also ensure that democracy is upheld by creating a forum to promote it. Media communication platforms ensure that there is an adequate and limitless arena for expression of individual opinions through the comments from the public. As a result, democracy leads to the growth of the political field through communication and expression of ideas. In addition, democracy ensures that the basic citizen’s political rights are upheld. For instance, the voting right of every individual is a democratic aspect that helps in molding political status of a country through election of competent candidates (Rolls 44). Consequently, democratic power that any individual has is enhanced and strengthened by the media, especially through report releases. That plays a significant role in ensuring that politics expands in a positive way.

The impact of media adverts and news is also felt in various political processes. Political processes are activities that contribute to the political set-up in a country. The processes are at a point to get open or to be concealed from the public (Rolls 52). The output opportunity is determined by the rights and freedoms that the media is granted. If the media providers were given freedom to be in every political process, they would ensure that every bit of political process is kept open to the public. Media reports intervene through processes exposure. Therefore, the processes and activities will be open to the public. In case of an error within the processes, it will be easily identified because there are very many eyes watching the processes. The identification of errors is made possible by media platforms that are able to link directly with the public.

The political processes include election process, vetting process, and the oversight processes. In the election process, the media reports and news are key communication platforms from a country’s electoral commission to the citizens of the respective nation. The media reports the process from its initialization to the end (Rolls 56). The media ensures transparency in the process whereby if there is any ill-practice in the processes, the media will expose it. As a result, the public will reject the outcomes of the process either through their leaders or activists. News also impacts the processes by announcing the results and creating a platform for analysts to examine several deeds of the processes. Therefore, political processes are streamlined by the media through enhancing transparency of the practices.

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News is on the forefront to ensure that politics have been made increasingly realistic in people’s lives. The electronic media and the social media have been the only types of media that have helped in the visualization of politics (Rozell 72). Visualization of politics is framing politics in a way that the public will be able to learn the status of their political leaders through direct viewing. Media news has helped in viewing the politicians from a different aspect. In electronic and social media, political events and political debates are broadcasted. Broadcasting enables the public to see the politician’s eye contact, their gestures and behaviors. The public is also put in a position to judge the reaction of politicians towards questions asked, including those about their past experiences. Viewing the politician will help to boost the realistic nature of politics. Furthermore, viewing political leaders helps in determining their etiquette and discipline. It is most evident when the public is able to judge political officials through their actions and dressing codes in debates. Therefore, the traits of a better political leader can be determined through viewing the leader in a debate broadcasted by the media.

The media elements, news, reports and campaign ads, have been identified to be biased at times in the event of their tasks. Bias emerged due to the tendency in the media to rely on one side due to some benefits or the influence of superior arms. The government of a country highly determines whether the media will be biased or not. The impact of media biasness to a country is devastating because it might lead to civil wars. The media can be biased in various ways. It may be used by the government or a political group to fulfill the desires of a group (Rozell 93). For instance, a group may approach the media, especially electronic and written media sources, and corrupt them through money or threats. The group will expect a media source to spread rumors or closely monitor the evil doings of their competitors. This will lead to a wrangle between the two groups, hence the spread of negative politics. The outcomes of the wrangle may be destructive.

News, reports and campaign ads may also impact politics through the spread of what is commonly known as hate speech. The media, especially the social media in this case, is a great contributor to civil unrest in most areas (Street 32). The social media has no restrictions that could prevent the spread of the violence-striking information. Therefore, people using social media reports can take an advantage of the loose nature of social media and trigger anger among the political opponents. As a result, the media will be a motivating factor for creation of a duel between the opponents in a political battle. The end product of the duel could be political unrest and death of innocent people as a result of a war. Therefore, the users of media channels should show integrity in their comments on political affairs.

Campaign adverts can be used to divide citizens of a country along the line of races, tribes or even religious groups. The media is known to have a great influence on its users (Street 63). Therefore, information posted or communicated through whichever media channel creates a great notion among the users of the media. If one of the users of the media shows how a certain ethnic, racial or religious group evil is, the country will most likely divide. The media has been seen to rely on ethnic, racial or religious groups in political agendas. Over-reliance of the media on one of the groups in ethnic, racial or religious backgrounds may result in the division of people in the nation. The driving force in the division is political gain of individuals who strive for their personal interests. This will lead to unfair politics in the country. Therefore, the media should aim at politically uniting citizens of a country despite their racial, ethnic or religious linings.

Increase in Prices of Campaign Advertisements

Politics heavily relies on campaign adverts. Politicians prefer using adverts in their activities of spreading their agendas because most of the media channels have a lot of users. Media has also a wide coverage whereby people across a large area can receive information communicated through it. As a result of politician’s preference in using campaign adverts to pass on their agendas, the media providers have hiked their prices. The demand for campaign adverts among politicians has been the main cause of high prices in promotional practices through media channels. Statistically, in 2012 Obama’s re-election, he spent an average of 553.2 million dollars while Mitt Romney spent 360.4 million dollars through the campaign adverts (Bryfonski 55). The costs of making a single advert at the electronic media fluctuate. When the election season is ongoing, the costs of making an advert increase in order to cater for increasing demand by the politicians (Rozell 98). Therefore, increase in price of campaign adverts is a result of the rising demand of politicians to use various channels of promotion in their political practices.

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Impact of Advertisements’ Prices on Voter Number and Elections

Campaign adverts play a great role in earning voters support in elections. The public is swayed by the campaign ads that are available in the media channel. The more a politician spends on ads, the higher the number of voters he earns. For instance, in 2012 US Obama’s re-election, Barack Obama spent 553.2 million dollars on campaign ads compared to Mitt Romney’s 360.4 million dollars. This explains why Obama won the election. He spent more money on the campaign ads, hence he won (Bryfonski 55).
The existence of campaign also boosts the number of eligible voters who cast vote. In the early times when there was a minimal use of campaign ads, only a few eligible voters casted their votes. In the recent US elections, there was intense use of campaign ads, hence more voters cast their votes. Statistically, 1988 elections had only 3.7 million eligible voters who casted their votes. In 2012 elections, 11.2 million eligible voters cast their vote which was a significant increase (Bryfonski 64). Therefore, campaign ads help in convincing more eligible voters to cast votes in an election.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the media has a great impact on the political affairs of a given country. In this paper, there is a discussion of the various channels of the media that have great influence on the politics across the world. Such channels include media news, adverts, reports, and social media among others that have affected the political nature of nations. It has become evident that such news, adverts and reports have played the major role in increasing the number of voters despite increasing prices of campaign adverts. An increase in prices of adverts has been a result of increasing demand of such services by political parties and individuals. The media should be given freedom by the respective governments to expose any misdeed in the country. However, the media ought not to abuse its freedom and rights in the political field for its benefits or due to external influences. The media should remain bold and persistent in informing the public on political issues despite the result of their exposure. Therefore, the media should be on the frontline to boost the positive attributes of politics. Moreover, there have been notable increases in prices of advertising for political campaigns through the media. That has had influence on voters’ turn up and the end results of elections. Transparency in elections has been boosted through media engagement as well.