Running Head: Mass Media in Elections
Mass Media’s Affect on Voting Trends
California State University California
In today’s world, the news media reaches and affects every person in the United States. The question now is does mass media such as newspapers, television, and the internet affect the voting trends of the voters? The ownership of the media (Djankov, Nenova, McLiesh, & Shleifer, 2003), targeting specific demographics (Clinton & Lapinski, 2004), the implications of the internet (DiMaggio, Hargittai, Neuman, & Robinson, 2003) and how candidates use media (Aarts & Semetko, 2003) are all important aspects in determining whether a potential bias ...view middle of the document...
759). The though being that media affects different people in different ways, in some; it encourages them to hate the political system and avoid it. Other citizens take what they see and hear and take a proactive stance on politics (Aarts & Semetko, 2003), going out to help campaigns and really put their trust in political involvement changing policy.
The biggest research jobs require extra people, so it’s no surprise it took four men and women to put together a comprehensive article about how the ownership of the news media affects the country. The article examines two different theories of government ownership (Djankov, Nenova, McLiesh, & Shleifer, 2003)one is the public interest theory, followed by the public choice theory, both have varying results on political and economic standings. This is invaluable because it helps show how important it is to keep an un-biased news media, and shows how disastrous it could possibly be.
How does the internet work? And how can the implications of the internet affect political participation, a major aspect of this paper. Research in today’s world relies heavily on the internet to reach people. This article covers research in the five major domains, inequality, community and social capital, political participation, organizations and cultural diversity (DiMaggio, Hargittai, Neuman, & Robinson, 2003). It also shows how quickly the internet has been picking up steam, jumping over 2000% from 1995 when only 16 million people used it, to almost 360 million by the middle of the twentieth century (NUA2000a).
Lastly, using an experiment with over ten thousand participants, Clinton and Lapinski evaluate the relationship between negative political advertising and voter turnout. Looking at both long and short term affects found little evidence that the information contained in the treatment groups’ advertisements is sufficient to systematically alter the turnout (Clinton & Lapinski, 2004).
Most people feel that a media bias exists, but ironically, it is members of both party’s feeling the other one is receiving more unbiased coverage. Democrats are constantly complaining about political pundits like Glen Beck and Rush Limbaugh asking why people even listen to their crazy conspiracy theories they shout out every chance they get. Even so, Republicans argue that not enough attention is given to their liberal counterparts on issues they feel would cast the candidate in a negative light. To address this issue, four presidential elections were surveyed 1984, 1988, 1992 and in 1996 (Shah, Watts, Domke, Fan, & Fibison, 1999). The findings showed that incumbents actually received the greatest amount of media coverage, regardless of their political affiliation. This said they, the incumbents, received more negative publicity then their opponents.
They used data collected in the early 1999’s by “Life Style Study” to try to prove the hypothesis that there is a “greater perceived hostile bias among...