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Media impact on elections

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by alleyallen, Nov 29, 2007.

  1. alleyallen

    alleyallen Guest

    Hi folks,

    I'm a former journalist myself but left the business almost three years ago for a new career. This career also allowed me to go back to college...

    Which brings me to today. I'm doing a research paper on the media's impact on elections. There's plenty of details I can on this topic for national elections, but what about local elections?

    Do any of you have real knowledge of how a paper impacts local elections/politics? If so, please PM me. I'm not trying to out anyone...just trying to get some additional details for my paper.
  2. Commodore --
    Most state houses have independent news bureaus -- and there's a thing called the States News Service in DC -- and these will be able to get you in touch with local political reporters all over the country.
    You might also try ti constituent services offices of congresscritters.
  3. alleyallen

    alleyallen Guest

    Well, I've spoken to the people at my former rag (they all know me well) to get their take on the paper's impact to local politics. I'm just looking for more supporting information in a quick manner.

    I know...I'm lazy.
  4. Cansportschick

    Cansportschick Active Member

    Alley, I had to do two papers on this topic, one for Public Opinion in Canada course and another for Canadian Political Systems Course.

    One of the things I did was link up local, federal, and provincial elections and the impact the media has had.

    There is so much information available on this topic but I actually used theories and related them to actual papers and their coverage of elections.

    One study was done on the CBC, and it showed how their coverage affected election outcomes.

    For my papers I used Marxist perspective to illustrate one of my points. Walt MacDayter did some research on this as well as Dennis MacQuaid, if you want to research their stuff. It may be of some help to you. Katz and Szcecko did another study on this. Benjamin Singer talks about image making, which you could touch on this.

    I know that you are not in Canada, but I did use the 1970 Quebec Election as an example of the influcence media had on voters and elections.

    I was able to link provincial, municipal and federal stuff together for my papers. Just make sure you make a valid arguement for your case, whether pro or con.

    Hope this helps you or anyone else ever doing a research paper on this topic. As a result of this, I am deemed a Political Media Influence Sociologist (not kidding either)
  5. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    I am shocked, shocked to read that on this board ...
  6. amraeder

    amraeder Well-Known Member

    Agenda setting, right? The media doesn't tell you what to think, but sets the agenda. What they talk about (taxes, going green, war, peace, the price of lima beans, whatever) sets the agenda and these become the key issues to voters.
  7. Is this a very leftish place?

    (I never venture off the Journalism Topics Only board.)
  8. BYH

    BYH Active Member

    haven't you heard? the liberal media rules all. Conservatives have no voice. They are alone.

    Explains, you know, the last seven years.
  9. Chi City 81

    Chi City 81 Guest

    Or, you know, 28 of the last 40. That damn Democrat Party!
  10. Cansportschick

    Cansportschick Active Member

    Well, you shouldn't be. For the record, there is an arguement that can be made and I made an excellent one. My honours advisor and course professor thought it merited an A+ on my thesis paper.

    Marxist perspective has been used in research to talk about media influence on elections. The media can be seen as an outlet that serves the interests of the powerful and dominant. So all information that is filtered through the media can be seen as a reinforcement of the "dominant" way of thinking and it does create a situation where people will accept things as they are or should be in society. The issue of perpetuation of deceit does come into question in the Marxist perspective. People are given the message through the media of what and how we should perceive as acceptable in our world, and that in turn will influence and formulate our opinions.

    McDayter used Marxist perspective in his research and said, "the media is a cascade of information, entertainment, whose effect is pervasive and perturbing." The arguement of media manipulation is based on selectivity, positioning and manufacturing of media information.

    I would offer as advice to anyone wanting to learn more about this to take a course on Public Opinion, because it clearly argues theories supporting media impact on elections.
  11. alleyallen

    alleyallen Guest

    Cansportschick, I have no doubt that your thesis was good...good enough to earn the grade it did, and you obviously argued your point very effectively. But that doesn't necessarily give it validation.

    I've noticed quite the opposite, especially with smaller community newspapers. The perception that was supplied by amraeder is much closer to the observable truth I've noticed.

    What goes in the paper does indeed largely set the agenda of what people talk about, and by virtue of that, what's important to them. At every community rag, good journalists grapple with how to balance what certain members of the public think are important and what the journalists feel is important. Making that news judgement is, by its very nature, an influencing factor for the readers. We're telling them we think this is the news, and if it doesn't appear, it must not be as important.
  12. Cansportschick

    Cansportschick Active Member

    Alley, as I said, previously, the media market may be different from yours in which I live in. I think what it comes down to is the research and studies done to support either yours or my arguement.

    From what I have learned or researched, media has had an impact on election outcomes. It can be true for some markets and in Canadian studies of local and federal elections and outcomes, the media was the top influence in determining the outcome. As we all know, there can be other influences that can predict the outcome too, but the research I have reviewed and have argued support it for Canadian areas.

    Alley, you have a good arguement. Again, it comes down to what research/theories support what is going on in our areas.
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